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TNB Roundtable: Bridging Technology and Evaluation in Nonprofits

Deborah Elizabeth Finn, Tech Networks of Boston

Friday, April 25, 2014 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM (EDT)

TNB Roundtable: Bridging Technology and Evaluation in...

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Event Details

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Tech Networks of Boston (TNB) hosts roundtables every other Friday afternoon. These are informal discussions and presentations, on a wide range of topics of interest to TNB's staff, nonprofit clients, and friends.

We hope that you will join us on April 25th, when we will focus on two of our favorite themes: collaboration between technological and nonprofit professionals, and managing technology to meet your mission.

Our featured speaker on the topic of "Bridging Technology and Evaluation in Nonprofits" will be Laura Beals of Jewish Family & Children's Service of Boston.

Here’s what Laura says about this TNB Roundtable session:

Do you work at a nonprofit that is trying to measure its impact? Are you a technology professional who has been asked to do evaluation-related work, such as “set up a database,” “pull some numbers,” or “write a report”? Or are you a staff member or evaluator who has been asked to do work requiring tech skills, such as “set up a database,” “create an online survey,” or “make an interactive data visualization”? While the fields of technology and evaluation each have their own histories, idiosyncrasies, methods, and communities, they are beginning to overlap more and more in the world of nonprofits, where both groups are increasingly being asked to complete similar tasks. As nonprofit professionals, whether technologists or evaluators, we can each benefit from an interdisciplinary approach to our work that is informed by our collective experiences. Approaches developed with input from both fields result in technological solutions that make evaluation more efficient and reliable, and in evaluation approaches that do a better job of leveraging technology.

After a brief presentation of her experiences and lessons learned by serving as a bridge between evaluators and technologists, Laura will facilitate a discussion of how we can use the strengths of our fields to create an interdisciplinary environment for understanding how nonprofit technologists and evaluators can work collaboratively to demonstrate impact. As with all TNB Roundtables, Laura welcomes any questions or comments from participants ahead of time—please use the field on the registration form to note any such thoughts.

Here’s a bit more about Laura:

Laura Beals, Ph.D. is a nonprofit evaluator. Her primary areas of expertise are in the use of technology to support research and in program evaluation methods. She is currently Senior Program Evaluator at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Boston, a large nonprofit social service agency located in Waltham. In her role on the evaluation team, she contributes to the implementation of the Social Solutions’ Efforts-to-Outcomes (ETO) performance management software and supports the agency’s ongoing efforts to use technology to enhance agency performance. Prior to joining JF&CS, Laura worked as the Manager for Research, Evaluation, and Technology at Connected Beginnings Training Institute, a professional development training institute for early care and education providers. While at Connected Beginnings, she oversaw the development of custom Drupal and Salesforce instances to support training registration and evaluation. Laura is currently co-chair of the American Evaluation Association’s Nonprofit and Foundations Topical Interest Group.

During graduate school, Laura was a senior member of the Developmental Technologies Research Group [LB4] at Tufts University and worked at the Tufts Center for Engineering Educational Outreach. Laura completed her Ph.D. and M.A. at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University, with her doctoral dissertation focusing on the design and evaluation of virtual world programs for preadolescent youth, and her master’s thesis focusing on a new technology and methodology for observing and understanding how students learn about engineering in early childhood classrooms.

Please note that session will not be a sales pitch for any product or service. The TNB Roundtable series is an educational opportunity for nonprofit professionals to learn along with their peers from other organizations.

We hope that you can join us for a lively conversation! Please respond to this invitation, to let us know whether you'll be attending. We are running a very popular series in a very small conference room, so a definite YES or NO is real help to us.

Best regards from Deborah

Deborah Elizabeth Finn | Senior Strategist
Tech Networks of Boston
1 Wadleigh Place | South Boston, MA 02127
617.504.8188 | 888.527.9333 Fax
deborah@techboston.com | techboston.com

Have questions about TNB Roundtable: Bridging Technology and Evaluation in Nonprofits? Contact Deborah Elizabeth Finn, Tech Networks of Boston

When

Organizer

Deborah Elizabeth Finn, Tech Networks of Boston

Tech Networks of Boston helps mission-based organizations in Greater Boston enhance their effective use of information technology. Our services include IT strategic planning and assessment services, IT services management, project management, data integration, software development, web design, systems engineering, training, deskside support, and 24/7 support services including end-user support, remote server monitoring and emergency onsite service.

In addition to providing IT Services, Tech Networks of Boston engages with nonprofits in the Boston area. Our initiatives include our Roundtable events and our IT Community of Practice. These groups provide nonprofit professionals and consultants with networking and professional development opportunities.

TNB is also a leader in service to the community. We contribute financially and through hands-on work. Our partnerships include talent development with the Shriver Job Corps, protecting our climate with the Climate Action Business Association, and promoting nonprofit fundraisers through our Boston Charity Events newsletter and website. Participating generously and responsibly in our local, business, client and world communities are a core value of TNB.

Tech Networks of Boston is a Massachusetts Benefit corporation and a Certified B Corporation, underlining our commitment to serving triple bottom line values of "People, Planet, and Profit". Our mission is to enable organizations to use innovative and effective tools to serve human needs.

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