Date of Graduation

Fall 12-15-2022

Document Access

Restricted Project/Capstone - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA)


School of Management


Public Administration

First Advisor

Richard Waters

Second Advisor

Marco Tavanti


Executive Summary

This paper includes: 1) perspectives on nonprofit program evaluation from a literature review and personal interviews; 2) how select Silicon Valley nonprofit organizations disclose program evaluation and organizational learning within their annual reports; and 3) a suggested model program evaluation approach. A literature review and interviews with evaluation consultants, academics, and nonprofit staff revealed that program evaluation is often conducted primarily to satisfy funders; there is a trend towards funding learning and capacity building within organizations; preferred program evaluation approaches depend on a variety of factors such as funding source, staff capacity, and organizational needs; funders are showing a willingness to accommodate new ways of reporting program evaluation beyond strictly quantitative metrics; and diversity and inclusion are becoming key organizing frameworks within program evaluation work. A content analysis of 41 select Silicon Valley nonprofit annual reports determined if they include terms representative of ‘organizational learning’, including specific terms such as ‘logic model’ and ‘theory of change’, among others. A chi-squared analysis reveals that there is no significant association between these terms and either the size or type of nonprofit organization. However, the analysis found that most of these annual reports do not include substantial program evaluation information regarding organizational learning or capacity building. A suggested model program evaluation approach includes 1) awareness of the influence of the organization mission, leadership, and funders on program evaluations; 2) both accountability measures and organizational learning ideally; 3) equity and capacity building should be addressed as both processes and outcomes; and 4) a communication strategy that uses annual reports to disclose program evaluation findings for greater transparency to key stakeholders.

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