Funders increasingly want to know what outcomes can be expected from programs, and yet defining quantitative data points for many high-impact programs can be difficult. As a result, nonprofits far too often report on outputs as opposed to outcomes.
In the for-profit world, the Six Sigma methodology helps companies improve processes and focus on the end goal. Six Sigma’s “5 Why’s” tool, in particular, is used to identify the root cause of problems and guide troubleshooting. This workshop will apply Six Sigma’s “5 Why’s” tool to help nonprofit staff drill down on program outputs, identifying the core issue their programs address as well as reportable outcomes in the process.
After completing this highly interactive workshop, participants will be able to describe programmatic impact in terms of outcomes and design a logic model that shows funders the path from problem to solution by way of their program.
This workshop will teach nonprofit staff how to differentiate outputs from outcomes, easily drill down to the core problem their program solves, identify quantifiable outcomes, and choose evaluation tools that quantify success. Taking a two-pronged approach to program evaluation, this workshop will first identify outcomes from program activities and use this information to develop a logic model. Ideally, organizations can send both program staff and grant writers who can work together through the “5 Why’s”; however, if sending one person, program staff would benefit most.
All registrants will be asked to submit a questionnaire 1-week prior to the workshop that describes one program for which success has been difficult to quantify (i.e. camp, art programs, social programs, etc.). During the workshop, participants will apply the “5 Why’s” tool to this program and identify quantitative measurements of success. Participants will use this measure of success to draw out a logic model for the program. Lastly, participants will leave with the skills to apply the “5 Why’s” to any program offered at their nonprofit.
This workshop is intended to be highly interactive. The session will start with a presentation of the “5 Why’s” tool. Afterwards, we will work through a couple of cases as a group. Participants will break to work in groups and apply the “5 Why’s” to their own programs.
Presenter: Sheela Nimishakavi, MA, MPH
Sheela Nimishakavi is a nonprofit finance and operations professional with a passion for creating socially just and inclusive communities. After working in the nonprofit field for over a decade and seeing many organizations struggle with the administrative requirements of running a nonprofit, Sheela founded ThirdSuite. By offering grant writing, bookkeeping, database management, as well as training in all aspects of administration, ThirdSuite helps nonprofits increase their capacity and allows staff to focus on the important work of furthering the organization’s mission.
Prior to consulting, Sheela held senior management positions at several community based nonprofit organizations in the health care and disabilities fields. She received an M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management from Boston University School of Public Health, and a B.S. in Neurobiology, Psychology and Behavior from the University of California, Davis. Sheela contributes to the nonprofit field as a writer for The Nonprofit Quarterly, serves on the Board of Directors of the Central Virginia Grant Professionals Association and the Advisory Board for Empowering People for Inclusive Communities. A true “nonprofit nerd” at heart, when not working, you’ll find her reading up on the latest studies and techniques for increasing nonprofit impact.