Youth Development: OST, Mentoring, & Education Equity

Youth Development Outcomes, Indicators and Targets Project 
Funder: The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
Project Time Period: 2014-2015

Project Category: Evaluation and Performance Management Capacity Building/Youth Development

About Youth Development Outcomes, Indicators and Targets Project: PropelNext is designed to help nonprofits transform their passion for helping disadvantaged youth into data-driven insights and practices that enable them to deliver even more powerful results. Our team worked with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation to develop an innovative guide to help PropelNext grantees develop specific and appropriate outcomes, indicators, and targets that youth development nonprofits can use to understand their effectiveness and continuously improve their programs. 

The Work: Over 40 high-performing nonprofits contributed their 'best practices' and 'lessons learned' to this project through surveys of organizational practices, data collection, and project models; and in-depth interviews with a sub-sample to gather close-up information about their performance management successes and challenges. MAI developed a guide to help nonprofits doing work in workforce development, education and youth development develop appropriate and justifiable indicators of their effectiveness. 

What We Learned: MAI’s publication, "A Guide for Youth-Serving Nonprofits to Developing Outcomes, Indicators and Targets for Use in Performance Management" provides information youth-serving nonprofits can use to brainstorm indicators and benchmarks for their outcomes. The research conducted for the guide also illuminated the fact that most of the high-performing youth-serving nonprofits included in the study define their outcomes, indicators, and benchmarks differently and that they are closely tailored to the program’s theory of change.