Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Program Evaluation
Applications are now closed! Stay tuned for next year's program details!
About the Program
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.
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.
This program is offered in partnership with WVDO and The Nonprofit Institute.
Want More Information?
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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 January 2021 and May 2021*
- Personalized 1:1 consultation on your evaluation project, including three one-hour coaching sessions (plus additional support via phone and email)*
- Guides and materials
- Graduates will be awarded a Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Program Evaluation*
2021 Session Dates
All sessions will meet online via Zoom for the 2021 cohort:
Class days will run from 9:30am-3:30pm with a one hour break from 12:00pm-1:00pm.
- Saturday, January 23, 2021
- Saturday, January 30, 2021
- Saturday, February 13, 2021
- Saturday, February 27, 2021
- Saturday, March 13, 2021
- Saturday, April 10, 2021
- Saturday, May 8, 2021
- Saturday, May 22, 2021
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
2021 Program Costs
Standard Individual Rate
Early Bird Rate
Available until December 18, 2020.
Additional Participant Rate*
*This is a special discounted rate for any additional participants from a single organization. If your organization is sending two or more participants, all participants after the first qualify for this special discounted rate. To obtain this discount, enter the discount code NPI2021 when you register additional participants from your organization.
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.
*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 and class materials (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.
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
- 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.
*subject to change based on the evolving situation with COVID-19
Early bird applications are open, here are the steps:
- Review the application instructions.
- Prepare your application materials.
- Submit your application. Applications for the 2021 program are being accepted until January 9, 2021.
- Register upon application approval.
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 in person or remote class 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 email@example.com.
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.
After you have been accepted, you will need to officially enroll yourself in the course. To register online, visit the Non-Credit Online Catalog and register for "NPI-001-008 - Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Program Evaluation." If you qualify for a discount, be sure to check the box on the appropriate discount while you are registering. No code is needed for the Early Bird Discount but those who qualify for the Additional Participant Discount will need to enter the code NPI2021.