NeighborWorks America

Publication Information:

This resource provides a series of data collection tools designed to help organizations self-evaluate the impact of their community building work.

Note: This resource requires a fee.

Detailed Description:
The Success Measures project is a participatory assessment tool designed to help users document outcomes, measure impact, and inform change.  The Success Measures process involves planning and visioning the desired change, designing indicators and data collection methods, collecting and analyzing data, and changing organizational approaches based on the results of this analysis.  While users can get a general overview of the toolkit and a listing of the types of indicators that it helps to measure, full use of the tool (e.g. access to actual data collection surveys) is reserved for those who subscribe to its service.

Of particular note to those in the community organizing field is the Community Building Indicators section of the toolkit.  This section of the toolkit provides users with a variety of indicators in the following three areas:

  • Community and Organizational Capacity,
  • Social Relationships and Networks, and
  • Community Economic and Political Influence.

A sample of these indicators within each of these categories includes:

  • Organizational capacity for developing leaders,
  • Organizational accountability to the community,
  • Awareness and understanding of community issues,
  • Capacity for collective action,
  • Collaboration,
  • Links across race/ethnicity, and
  • Evidence of community power

Each of these indicators is accompanied by a series of surveys and other data collection tools that will help organizations to measure their capacity and impact in the given area.  For example, the “evidence of community power” indicator has data collection tools designed for use with community residents, decision-makers, and the media.  Users are encouraged to select the indicators and data collection tools that are appropriate for their organization.

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