Title

An Examination of Evaluation Plan Quality in Human Service Nonprofit Organizations

Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Judith Zimmerman (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Catherine Cassara-Jemai (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Sarah Twitchell (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Rachel Vannatta (Committee Member)

Abstract

The purpose of this correlational study was to examine the relationship between organization size, size of funding allocation, type of human service organization, organization staff position responsible for the evaluation plan and evaluation plan quality in human service nonprofit organizations in Ohio. Evaluation plan quality was assessed by using the Program Accountability Quality Scale (PAQS). This study utilized archival data from 125 human service nonprofit organizations collected by a United Way organization to examine factors related to evaluation plan quality.

The research findings demonstrated that evaluation plan quality did not relate to organization size. Therefore, although there were differences in relation to financial resources between the organizations it did not impact evaluation plan quality. In regard to the relationship between size of funding allocation and evaluation plan quality, the activities and outputs subscales resulted in lower quality scores for organizations that received smaller funding allocations when compared to those organizations that received the largest funding allocations. This study demonstrated some significant differences between type of human service organization and evaluation plan quality. While this study contributed to the literature regarding the role and use of evaluation efforts in the nonprofit sector, future research is warranted.

The following conclusions were drawn from this study that examined the relationship between evaluation plan quality and organization factors: 1) the size of the human service organization was not related to evaluation plan quality, 2) while the results of the relationship between funding allocation and evaluation plan quality varied, it did appear that on a few of the measures organizations that received less funding exhibited lower quality evaluation plans, 3) there were some significant differences between some types of human service organizations and evaluation plan quality and 4) there is a critical need for further research to understand evaluation systems utilized by nonprofit organizations.