On February 26, Gary Bolinger, CAE, will facilitate the ISAE workshop “Evaluating Your Association’s Programs.” We asked Gary three questions to gain a better understanding of the evaluation process.
1. What is the biggest challenge to implementing program evaluation?
One of the biggest challenges is really thinking through all of your programs. No matter how big or small, the program needs to be evaluated in relationship to all other programs. Don’t fall into the trap of “it doesn’t take much time” or “we have always done it.” Everything needs to be on the table for evaluation. Keep in mind, this is hard work. Very hard work that is key to future success.
2. Will all associations benefit from program evaluation?
Yes. All too often associations maintain programs because they are “sacred cows.” Just because a program has always been offered doesn’t mean it should continue to be offered. The environment we all operate in, including our membership, is in perpetual motion. Just because a program was valuable in the past doesn’t mean it is today. If the program is no longer of value, providing that program may be draining valuable resources from another valuable program.
3. Is it possible to “retool” a program with a poor evaluation?
When a program, service or activity is the subject of poor evaluation, the association should first assess if it even should be “retooled.” It might be time to discontinue the program. In many cases, that is exactly what needs to happen. It is too easy to fall into the trap “if we just work harder at this program, it will be successful.” That is rarely the case. A program with poor evaluation may be a program that shouldn’t be offered because a more relevant solution has emerged.
Join us Thursday, February 26, 2015 at the workshop to gather ideas and get inspired. Then you will be able to approach supervisors, CEOs and boards on how to enhance the programs, services and activities that are relevant. Get more details and register here.