Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change

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Measuring Social Impact

Lost in Translation

It’s time for people in the nonprofit community to reclaim the language of nonprofit evaluation.

 

The field of nonprofit evaluation is shifting, and with that shift has come a change in vocabulary. Terms like “randomized controlled trials” and “social return on investment,” for instance, have become central to the conversation. We take a moment to explore who is driving this conversation and how the nonprofit evaluation discourse may perpetuate ideas, expectations, and values that can be incongruous with the realities of the nonprofit sector.

With nonprofits under increasing...


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