Giving Compass’ Take:
• This Keystone Accountability post discusses the nonprofit LIFT, which posits that the strength of its members’ relationship with the organization, along with social and personal foundations, can predict economic outcomes.
• Feedback is a vital component of this theory, and there are tips included in this piece that many nonprofits and funders can learn from, including leadership buy-in and being mindful of “courtesy bias.”
US nonprofit LIFT, which works to end intergenerational poverty, has been using client feedback to test its theory of change.
LIFT works with low-income families in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Parents (who LIFT call members) are paired with volunteer advocates and they work together to achieve the member’s goals. These could be finding affordable housing, decent education or building confidence and skills to manage tough times.
LIFT’s top ten tips for collecting feedback from constituents:
- Leadership buy-in is a must
- When designing questions, look to your frontline staff
- Don’t reinvent the wheel
- Test, test and test again
- High-quality data relies on a strong survey pitch
- Total anonymity is not necessary for reliable data
- Be mindful of courtesy bias
- Use focus group discussions to provide color to results
- Feedback and rapid prototyping go hand-in-hand
- Continuously reassess and make improvements based on lessons learned
Read the full article about using client feedback to test a theory of change by Lynn Morris at Keystone Accountability.
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