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Field Notes

August 2023 Newsletter

Erin Rodriguez
September 6, 2023

My work in the nonprofit sector began in data collection and reporting for a large national intermediary. At one point I was even responsible for collaborating on a national random assignment evaluation that involved programs around the country. My most important job was to help local programs understand their data requirements, meet them as effectively as possible and hopefully find use in what we were asking them to collect. For people who find their purpose and vocation in helping others, data work can feel hard, confusing, and a waste of precious time. While nonprofits large and small, schools, public agencies and foundations have vastly improved their data practices since the early 2000s, and the tools are a lot better, data collection, performance measurement and evaluation can still be burdensome and confusing.

Root Cause believes deeply in the value of effective data collection and analysis for continuous learning and improvement. I’m really proud of our approach to performance measurement and improvement because our principles and approaches are grounded in decades of practice and adaptation. Since 2004, we have helped hundreds partners and clients to:

  • Develop performance measurement tools, processes, and systems.

  • Evaluate programs and make recommendations for improvement.

  • Use data, coaching, and technical assistance to strengthen nonprofit operations, program quality, and outcomes. 

Root Cause can help clarify and simplify these practices, ensure that they are valuable to your mission, and that they are grounded in equitable approaches. Learn more about our approach to performance measurement and take a look at some of our previous projects and partners in this area below. Contact us to learn more about how Root Cause might improve your organization’s data practices.

    Included in this Newsletter:

    • PROJECTS: HOPE National Resource Center, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Max and Marian Farash Foundation, Centering Healthcare Institute, Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, Ready for School, Ready for Life, State Street Foundation
    • THANK YOU: To our 2023 Summer Interns
    • ANNOUNCEMENT: Launch of Root Cause’s Instagram!



    Learn more about Continuous Quality Improvement for social service providers at our Continuous Quality Improvement Resource Library.
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