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InsideNGO - 2009 Annual Meeting - Update

Posted July 28, 2009 8:30 AM by Ted Jackson

Yesterday, InsideNGO kicked off their week-long annual meeting in Washington, DC. The first few days focus on Finance, Grants, Contracts, and Personal/Professional Development. The next few days focuses on Human Resources. Ascendant and one of our clients, Rare, gave a presentation yesterday afternoon.

The presentation focused on measures and putting measures in strategic context. We talked about how to think about what you measure in a nonprofit organization. We believe that a set of measures should link together in causal relationships. This means that you should use either a strategy map or a logic framework to demonstrate how your measures link together to help you execute on your Theory of Change. We then spoke about capturing data and displaying information in ways that can be helpful to both a leadership team and a board of directors. This opened up a great discussion on quantitative and qualitative information.

We then spoke about using measures in management meetings. In the beginning we focused our discussion on the meetings themselves and how they should be structured. There was great consensus in the room about the importance of having well structured meetings with a decision-making process to drive the execution of strategy. While not many people had heard of the Balanced Scorecard, everyone had experienced a few disorganized and unproductive meetings.

Finally, Rare, an environmental social marketing organization, spoke about their experience in using the Balanced Scorecard to drive their focus on strategy and alignment throughout their organization. It was a powerful case that allowed participants to see a real life example of how an organization is improving its impact. Overall, we received great feedback from the presentation and it was a nice way to conclude day one at the InsideNGO conference.