General Assessment Resources & Tools

Publication Date April 21, 2011

We follow evaluation and social impact measurement trends to identify emerging best practices and tools. We have compiled a list of assessment resources below, which includes a mix of Knight and third-party tools, to support our grantees and other nonprofits collect useful information about the effectiveness and impact of their work. We hope you find the list helpful. If there are other resources that you find particularly useful, please let us know. This list of evaluation resources is intended for informational purposes only. Inclusion does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the Knight Foundation.

Links to Content Below: General | Innovating Media | Engaging Communities | Fostering Arts

General Resources

Foundation Center – Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact (TRASI)
This database contains approaches to impact assessment, guidelines for creating and conducting an assessment, and actionable tools for measuring social change.

Urban Institute – Outcomes Indicators Project
This resource supports nonprofit performance tracking by suggesting outcomes and indicators to assist nonprofit develop new measurement approaches and enhance existing systems.

This website provides materials that offer insights and approaches to improve the effectiveness of social sector organizations, including several guides on evaluation and assessment.

Innovation Network – Point K Learning Center
Point K's resources offers a set of tools, including an Organizational Assessment Tool, Logic Model Builder and Evaluation Plan Builder, to support non-profits in designing and implementing assessments for their own programs.

Root Cause – Building a Performance Measurement System
This guide provides a practical, five-step process for developing a performance measurement approach to support nonprofits as they select measures, design reports, and communicate impact.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation – Evaluation Handbook & Logic Model Development Guide
This workbook provides a framework for approaching nonprofit program evaluations that support program performance.  The guide introduces the logic model tool to nonprofits seeking to strengthen program design and delivery, and disseminate results.

Innovating Media & Information Resources

IMPACT: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Community Information Projects
This guide, produced by Knight Foundation and FSG Social Impacts Advisors, supports organizations to collect information about the effectiveness and impact of their community news, information and media projects.

Measuring the Online Impact of Your Information Project
This report, produced by Knight Foundation, FSG Social Impact Advisors and journalism professor Dana Chinn, outlines how funders and their grant partners reach and engage online audiences. It identifies metrics for measuring impact for projects creating informed and engaged communities and includes a set of useful examples.

Center for Social Impact (American University) & The Media Consortium – Investing in Impact
This paper outlines reasons to assess public interest media, synthesizes primary evaluation needs, and proposes news tools to assist those involved in public interest media track their work.

Center for International Media Activists – Planning and Evaluation for Media Activists

This resource outlines recommendations, case studies and tools for performing strategic planning and evaluation for media justice projects.

Engaging Communities

Evidence of Change: Exploring Civic Engagement Evaluation – Building Movement Project
The report presents a brief summary of key findings from the 2010 Civic Engagement Evaluation Summit. 

Community Tool Box – University of Kansas
This online toolkit offers extensive information about approaches to building healthy communities, including guides for evaluating community programs and initiatives.

Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement – Tufts University
The center conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans and offers several research and evaluation tools for gauging civic engagement.

Harvard Family Research Project – The Evaluation Exchange
Thisperiodical regularly provides lessons and emerging best practices for evaluating programs and policies, specifically those focused on children, families, and communities.

Fostering Arts

This repository provides resources for those working in the arts who want to understand the social impact of their projects.

Grantmakers in the Arts – Digest: Studies, Books, Web Sites
This resource showcases publications and tools for informing strategy and assessment of arts funders and their nonprofit partners in the field.

Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project
This project, a collaboration between nonprofits working in youth arts and national leaders in research, promotes innovative evaluation methods and tools for measuring youth arts.

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