Improve Group staff are devoted to using evaluation to improve outcomes, so conducting a test presentation of our new workshop series seemed natural. On June 14th, 2007 we gave a pilot run of How Do I Know That: Creating tools to understand program outcomes and Inside Knowledge, Outside Perspective: Evaluating your organization form within. The series is aimed at those who want to begin or expand their evaluation knowledge and feel empowered to use it in their organization. Presenter Leah Goldstein Moses taught participants how to develop evaluations that fit smoothly with program activities while maintaining validity and accuracy. Presenter Marian Kimball Eichinger gave insight into how to improve the evaluation work within organizations and how to select the right tools to get legitimate results. Attending the pilot was Cassaundra Adler - Financial Educator with Lutheran Social Services, Trisha Lee Cook – Member Services Associate for the Minnesota Council on Foundations and Nathan Salzl – Evaluation Specialist for the Greater Twin Cities United Way 211 Call Center. Also attending was Improve Group consultant Jules Goldstein (who is a member of the Board of United Jewish Fund and Council) and staff member Susan Murphy. Our thanks to Cassaundra, Trisha Lee and Nathan who were a perfect blend of non-profit experience, foundation background and small and large organization perspectives. The attendees gave honest and valuable feedback on what were the most useful aspects of the training, what could be added or deleted to better serve the needs of the target audience and how to enhance specific exercises and teaching materials. The pilot group gave a unanimous thumbs-up to the new series, saying: •The workshops helped me figure out where to start with my organization's evaluation. I felt overwhelmed before and unsure whether I was representing my own opinions or had solid facts; now I know how to collect, analyze and present accurate data. •I gained a great vocabulary for talking with funders, program managers and staff; the tools provided during the workshop can easily be adapted for our programs. •I am excited to use the information for my program; I like learning and continually improving my program and was never sure how to ask questions to get honest and fair responses. I am going to review our surveys to make sure they are gathering the information I need. •The workshops were very fun, very informative and I feel lucky to be invited. Space in the July 19th sessions is available; to download a registration form click here.