Because no one is just another brick in the wall.
Assessment Resource for "Prison and Reentry Nonprofits"
The National Network of Prison Nonprofits (NC4RSO) and our member organizations believe in the ability of community programs to contribute to individual transformation and, thereby, improve community well-being. When one person's life changes for the better, this enhances their ability to participate positively in their community.
Further, thiere is a wide and deeply-held belief that individual communities have a civic responsibliity to engage in local solutions for local problems; NC4RSO members are "civic engagement" organizations that address challenges that involve incarceration.
How effective is each individual community-based program achieving its' program goals?
- How well aligned is an individual community organization with its' mission?
- How much of a measurable difference do their programs achieve?
- How well do they communicate their impact?
Questions such as the ones above can be raised by many interested parties - program participants (or potential participants), local communities, correctional agencies (jails, prisons, parole offices, etc.), individual donors and funding bodies (foundations, government programs, etc.), public office holders, the media, etc.
As a means for measuring the effectiveness of individual community-based "jail, prison, and reentry programs," NC4RSO provides an assessment/evaluation mechanism allowing each organization to assess their effectiveness and communicate well they achieve their goals - thereby demonstrating accountability, communicating results, identifying areas for improvement, and improving access to funding. Such accountability is a commitment to achieving and delivering programs that truly change lives. Completion of this assessment mechanism also allows individual organizations to justify funding requests (i.e, “here’s what we do well,” “here’s what we achieve,” and/or “we need grant funding to improve this or that aspect of our program”)
“Jail, Prison, and Post-Incarceration Reentry Nonprofits” - Use this assessment to:
- Learn to articulate your group’s level of effectiveness to people outside of your organization
- Identify organizational strengths and weaknesses so your organization can improve
- Demonstrate accountability – both internally and to external stakeholders – by being able to communicate the organizations’ goals and level of functioning.
- Demonstrate your current level of functioning when applying for grants. For example, following two sources demonstrate a desire of some federal funding providers for assessments by funding recipients to continue receiving funding (i.e., data-driven “progress assessments):
External sources have this to say about the value of this sort of assessment:
- National Environmental Training Center
- Government grantmakers's assessment expectations for fundees (one example)
This assessment mechanism is available to NC4RSO member organizations. We encourage broad use of the mechanism by our member organizations.
Contact NC4RSO to inquire about using the assessment resource.
NC4RSO is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization
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