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Chairman's Corner: 'Social Outcomes': Missing the Forest for the Trees?

Krátký kritický článek Maria Morina – aneb jak ve sledování dopadu nepřehlédnout pro jednotlivé stromy celý les.


For the past month, I have worked through draft after draft of this column as I’ve struggled to properly express my concern about the growing movement to advance „social outcomes“—as well as „impact,“ „measurement,“ „metrics,“ „evaluation,“ „accountability,“ and a half-dozen other related concepts—for nonprofit organizations.

Here is my concern, as best as I can manage to articulate it. I am increasingly worried that the vast majority of funders and nonprofits are achieving, at best, marginal benefit from their efforts to implement outcomes thinking. Granted, there has been some truly meaningful progress. Select hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic have made great strides in assessing their outcomes and being transparent about their performance. And the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and a few others have keenly focused on the challenge of social outcomes and have dealt with them well. Yet many other efforts may end up misdirecting, even wasting, precious time and financial resources. In some extreme situations, well-intentioned efforts may actually risk producing adverse effects on nonprofits and those they serve.

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