Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Program Evaluation

Designed for Nonprofit Professionals

This 9-month professional program is intended to support you in developing your nonprofit career, especially if you make programmatic decisions and report on impact to stakeholders. New to program evaluation or data analysis? No problem! No experience in evaluation or assessment work is required.

Personalized Support

During the course of the program, you will design and implement a program evaluation and complete a report for your organization. You will perform vital work for your organization, while receiving expert instruction and feedback. Along the way, you’ll receive personalized mentorship and evaluation expertise from program staff.*

Learn With Your Peers

Each cohort is an opportunity to meet other nonprofit professionals invested in learning program evaluation. Small class sizes allow for ample opportunity to network and learn from each other, as you all design and implement a program evaluation concurrently.

Program offered in partnership with WVDO and The Nonprofit Institute.



Interested? Apply by September 15. 

Need more information? Attend an info session.

Know someone who may be interested? Share our program flyer.

2019 - 2020 Program

On this page:

Program Details

The NPI Evaluation Framework

NPI’s Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Program Evaluation uses a culturally-responsive and equitable evaluation framework. What does that mean? A culturally-responsive or equitable evaluation looks like ...

  • Accounting for and respecting culture and context throughout the evaluation process
  • Including stakeholder voice (service user, funder, etc.) in the evaluation as much as possible 
  • Striving to ensure the evaluation approach reveals structural and systems-level drivers of inequity that impact programs
  • Disseminating results of the evaluation widely 
  • Using findings of the evaluation to build the capacity of community and community organizations

*Please note that while this program is taught from an equitable evaluation perspective, it is not a training on organizational equity, diversity and inclusion. If your organization is seeking consultation or assistance to advance equity planning or training, we recommend starting with The Nonprofit Association of Oregon’s Service Provider Directory.

What's included in the Program

  • Seven full-day workshops between October 2019 and June 2020
  • Personalized 1:1 consultation on your evaluation project, including three one-hour coaching sessions (plus additional support via phone and email)*
  • Guides and materials
  • Lunch provided
  • Graduates will be awarded a Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Program Evaluation*

Session Dates

Sessions are tentatively scheduled on the first Thursday of each month. All sessions meet on PSU’s campus, in downtown Portland, from 9am to 4:30pm. 

  • October 3rd, 2019
  • November 7th, 2019
  • January 9th, 2020
  • February 6th, 2020
  • April 2nd, 2020
  • May 7th, 2020
  • June 4th, 2020

Program Completion Requirements

To earn a certificate at the end of this program, you should be prepared to:

  • Attend all classroom sessions (seven weekday sessions over 9 months)
  • Complete assignments and readings (ranging from 8-24 hours per month outside the classroom) 
  • Engage stakeholders as much as is feasible through the evaluation process  
  • Develop data collection instruments, such as questionnaires and interview guides 
  • Collect and analyze your data and compile findings and recommendations
  • Submit a final report and present an overview of your evaluation project at our final session

By the end of the program, you will be able to: 

  • Explain the function and purpose of culturally-responsive and ethical program evaluation 
  • Identify stakeholders and solicit and integrate stakeholder input
  • Design and prepare an evaluation plan 
  • Develop appropriate data collection instruments 
  • Collect and analyze basic quantitative and qualitative data 
  • Interpret and report findings and conclusions, and make recommendations for the program  

Program Costs

  • Early Bird Rate (apply and register by July 31st)  - $2,000 
  • Regular Rate (register after July 31st) - $2,500
  • Basic Instruction option* - $1,400    

All fees are due at the time of registration. Please note that our evaluation trainings are intended to be completed as a unit. Classes are not offered on an “a la carte” basis.

Cancellations and Refunds

The Nonprofit Institute reserves the right to cancel programs or classes with low enrollments. Portland State University's tuition exemption policy does not apply to this program. These courses are offered on a not-for-credit basis. They will not appear on your college transcript, and do not qualify for financial aid. Fees and tuition are subject to change. This program adheres to the refund policy instituted by the Center for Public Service. Read more

*What is the "Basic Instruction" option?

This option is for students who are interested in training in program evaluation, but aren't ready to complete an evaluation project as part of their learning. The Basic Instruction option includes seven full-day workshops, class materials, and lunch (we ask that the same representative from your organization attend each workshop). The Basic Instruction option does not include the personalized coaching and 1:1 consultation on an evaluation project that is provided to fully registered students. Note that this option also does not result in receipt of a Professional Certificate at the end of the class.

We encourage you to contact us before enrolling in the Basic Instruction option.

Apply Today

Step 1: Review the application instructions.

Step 2: Prepare your application materials.

Step 3: Submit your application no later than September 15th.

Step 4: Register upon application approval.

Application Instructions

Please prepare these two documents:

  • A Statement of Interest (one page) describing, in your own words, why you would like to participate in the program. Please include the following:  
    • a description of your professional background and any prior experience with program evaluation (prior experience is not required);
    • a description of your organization’s current evaluation activities (if any);  
    • a description of what questions you are interested in answering through your evaluation efforts; 
    • confirm in writing that you are able to attend classroom-based sessions and complete 8-24 hours per month of additional independent work outside the classroom. 
  • A Letter of Commitment (one page) signed by your organization’s Executive Director, other member of the senior leadership team, or member of the Board of Directors. This letter should:
    • detail why organizational leadership believes this is a good time for the organization to participate in this program
    • confirm that your organization’s leadership is familiar with the goals, objectives and time commitment of the certificate program 
    • indicate that your organization’s leadership is prepared to meet with you as needed to identify and refine the goals of your evaluation project
    • If you will be accessing organizational records or interacting with program participants, this letter should indicate that you will be supported in these efforts.
    • *If you are enrolling in the Basic Instruction track, please indicate this in the letter of commitment.


Email statement of interest and letter of commitment to

If you are notified of acceptance, you will have 10 days to contact us to reserve your space in the program. After 10 days, unreserved seats may be made available to other applicants.

What We Look For

First, we welcome students with a wide range of existing skills and prior experience working with data and information (including none!). What we don’t consider in your application: 

  • your education level
  • your job title
  • Whether you are “good with numbers.” 

The program is right for you if:

  • you are able to attend all the classes in the program as well as invest an additional 8-24 hours per month outside of class to complete the class assignments that collectively make up your evaluation project and report (note: not having adequate time for the evaluation outside of class is one of the biggest factors we see students struggle with),
  • you are comfortable receiving and using constructive feedback on your project, whether it comes from stakeholders in your organization, from your fellow students, or from program staff
  • you are meaningfully involved with the nonprofit or community-based organization in which you will do an evaluation (if you are a consultant who wants to complete this program with a client, or an employee of a government agency, please contact us before applying)

The program is right for your organization if:

  • your organization is a nonprofit or community-based organization whose beneficiaries are (partly or fully) in Oregon
  • your organization’s leadership is familiar with this program, and will support you in your work by being available for project discussions, providing access to organizational data and records, and, if the organization is your employer, ensuring you have the time to complete the work successfully

If you’re not sure whether this describes you or your organization, or have questions before applying, feel free to contact us.