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Better Data, Better Stories: Data Strategy Series

March 4 @ 11:00 am 12:15 pm

All Access Pass logo image
This course is free for All Access Pass holders.

Many nonprofits spend years missing opportunities because they lack compelling data to tell the story of their work. Over the course of four sessions, participants will develop their impact statements, data strategy, and supporting documentation, so they can confidently communicate the value of their work. The training takes a hand-ons approach and centers equity, efficiency and nonprofits’ core need to fund their critical work.  

Audience: Nonprofit organizations, whether newborn or 100 years old who:  

  • Are looking for a compelling and efficient way to communicate their impact 
  • Miss funding opportunities because they lack a Logic Model, Theory of Change, or concise and compelling language to describe how their program makes a difference  
  • Struggle to communicate the importance of their work, or notice staff, board and partners all talk about their impact differently  
  • Have a piecemeal data strategy that does speak to overall organizational strategy 
  • Collect data, but don’t use it 
  • Don’t know where to start when it comes to data and evaluation  

Workshop Objectives: As a participant you will…  

  • Use an Impact Statement approach to clearly and succinctly communicate the critical work of your organization  
  • Create a Logic Model that serves as a programmatic roadmap and can be used when applying for funding and evaluating impact  
  • Assess your current data strategy and choose new/existing metrics that are equitable, feasible and in alignment with your Impact Statements and Logic Model  
  • Develop a plan to implement your new strategies  

Course Schedule

March 4th | Session 1: Impact Statements for Nonprofits  

Description: Nonprofits are often pressured to provide data that proves their impact, but the vast majority don’t have the resources to conduct rigorous studies or otherwise document their long-term impacts.  An impact statement approach helps nonprofits build off existing research to explain their impact. During this session we’ll learn the impact statement approach, move through a series of hands-on examples, and teams will begin to build out their impact statements.  

Workshop Objectives:  

  • Understand an Impact Statement Approach and how to apply it to your organization or program 
  • Define the problem your organization or program exists to solve 
  • Identify your program’s solution 
  • Analyze existing research and models 
  • Create an Impact Statement for your organization or program  

March 11th | Session 2: Create Your Aligned Logic Model 

While Impact Statements are incredible at clearly and succinctly communicating your organization’s big picture impact, logic models help us drill down into the everyday work of running a program. They are roadmaps with step-by-step directions from program inputs to long-term impacts. Often, logic models are required for grant applications or reporting and then left in a virtual folder, collecting figurative dust. That’s a huge waste! When done effectively, Logic Models are powerful roadmaps that keep our work focused, help us continually improve our program’s effectiveness and help us prioritize our resources. During this session we’ll build off the work of session one and dig into how your organization does its everyday work to achieve results.  

Workshop Objectives: 

  • Learn how a logic model can be used as a program or organizational roadmap  
  • Understand the different parts of a logic model and how to effectively write them 
  • Analyze any current logic models (if relevant) and/or create new logic models to represent your program or organization  

March 18th | Session 3: Plan Measurement and Data Collection  

During the last two weeks, by virtue of creating clear Impact Statements and Logic Models, we’ve set ourselves up to identify the key metrics most essential for evaluating our program’s effectiveness and impact. During this session we’ll work from our logic models to evaluate how your currently collected data aligns with your new data strategy, and what additional metrics are now needed. This session will have a strong focus on equitable data collection practices, while also emphasizing what is feasible and efficient for nonprofits.  

Workshop Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your logic model and impact statement to create an aligned data strategy 
  • Evaluate whether current metrics align with your impact model  
  • Choose metrics for your data strategy considering equity, feasibility and alignment  

March 25th | Session 4: Implementation & Sustainability  

A data strategy is only useful if it’s used. During the final session, we’ll focus on application and implementation, so teams are well set-up to continue implementing their new tools, and use their data strategy for fundraising, grant reporting, communications/raising awareness, legislative advocacy, learning and program improvement, program evaluation and more. This session will emphasize planning and include identifying and problem-solving around potential barriers, planning for additional team/stakeholder involvement, and identifying any next steps around data collection, storage and use.  

Workshop Objectives:

  • Develop a plan to ensure your new strategy is implemented/shared and used by your organization  
  • Think through next steps to build off the work you’ve completed thus-far, including relating to needed data collection 
  • Reflect on lessons learned and celebrate successes of the group 

Registration Includes:  

  • 4 live, 75 minute sessions (recorded)  
  • Templates, bonus exercises to involve teams who aren’t attending live, and other references and resources for participants who want to dig deeper 

Course Instructor

Lily Sussman

Lily Sussman (she/her)

Lily is the owner and director of LAS Visions LLC. She specializes in supporting organizations to develop practical and effective data and evaluation strategies that quantify their work, demonstrate their impact, and raise awareness and funding. She has 15 years of experience working in education, public health and with nonprofits.

Lily holds a Masters of Science in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University. Her former titles include Director of Evaluation and Learning, Epidemiologist, and Special Education Teacher.  She’s involved in her community as a board member of Earth Within Girls, a Master Gardener, and a Program Co-Chair for American Evaluation Association’s Independent Consulting Group. 

All sessions will be recorded and available for registered attendees to access, along with all session resources, for six months after the event.


$95 – $350 MNA Members: $95 Individual / $175 Whole Org; Non Members: $190 Individual / $350 Whole Org


Scholarships are available for MNA Members. If budget is a concern in your ability to attend this training, please let us know! Apply here.

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