Projects That Matter: Successful Planning and Evaluation for Religious Organizations


book
by Kathleen Cahalan. Alban Institute, 2003.

This book brings the process of formal and systemic program and project evaluation into congregations and religious organizations. It includes numerous examples from congregational and faith-based community programs. The method introduces project leaders and teams to the five basic elements of project design and describes in detail a six-step process for designing and implementing a project evaluation and disseminating evaluation findings. Presenting evaluation as a form of collaborative inquiry, Cahalan shows how leaders can use evaluation design to develop effective project plans and prepare case statements for donors or grant proposals for foundations. She introduces project planning and evaluation as mission-related practices and invites leaders to consider how their tradition's particular mission and beliefs influence the way they plan and evaluate. Cahalan concludes the book by making explicit her own theological presuppositions--that the virtues of discernment, stewardship and prudence are essential for good project planning and evaluation. This resource will be useful to congregations with community ministry projects or separate nonprofit ministries.

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