How to Achieve the Performance Imperative with Results-Based Accountability

“High-performance organization” is a moniker most organizations—private, public, or nonprofit—would love to earn. And yet who can say what “high performance” really means for mission-based nonprofits? More important, how do executives, boards, and funders get there from here? The Leap Ambassadors Community, a network of more than 50 nonprofit executives, has spent the past year [...]

Redefining the Role of United Ways With Results Based Accountability and Asset Based Community Development

By H. Daniels Duncan, Senior Vice President, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona To download the complete whitepaper click here. "Our United Way system is embarking on a bold journey to transform communities across the country(and now the world)by setting goals that are focused on education, income and health; the building blocks of a [...]

2.3 How do we get people to understand the difference between indicators and performance measures?

The Short Answer Indicators are about whole populations. Performance measures are about client populations. Indicators are usually about  peoples' lives, whether or not they receive any service. Performance measures are usually about people who receive service. Indicators are proxies for the well-being of whole populations, and necessarily matters of approximation and compromise. Performance measures are about a known group [...]

3.7 How do we help people identify performance measures for their program or service?

The Short Answer There are many different ways to do this (see  3.1). Here's one approach that goes directly to performance measures themselves: All performance measures (that have ever existed for any program in the history of the universe) fall into one of four categories, derived from the intersection of quantity and quality vs. effort and effect.  [...]

3.8 What are the differences between the 4 quadrants?

The Short Answer (1) There are many classification schemes or typologies for performance measures that have used over the years. The 4 quadrant typology is a new way to account for all the different kinds of performance measures. And it can be used to diagnose other classification schemes for performance measures.  (2) Think about the [...]

3.9 What is the difference between 4 Quadrant performance measures and logic model performance measures?

The Short Answer 1. The 4 Quadrant method and logic model methods can be seen as complementary, not contradictory, approaches. 2. The 4 Quadrant model goes directly to the identification of performance measures, without a lot of preliminaries: What do we do? (quantity of effort = # clients served, # activities performed) (= logic model outputs). How [...]

3.10 How do we identify performance measures for administrative functions like personnel, budgeting, etc.?

Check out the updated version of this page here! The Short Answer 1. For each administrative activity, identify the measures (in the upper right quadrant) that describe how well that activity is performed. These usually have to do with timeliness (e.g. % of invoices paid in less than 30 days, average time to fill a [...]

3.12 How do we select the most important ” headline” performance measures for my program or service?

The Short Answer 1. Identify the measures for which you currently have data. 2. Choose the most important using a forced choice process, asking: "If you had to talk about your program with just one of these circled measures, which one would it be?" 3. Identify your data development agenda using a forced choice process, [...]