The Problem: The impacts of many community development programs are difficult to measure. These organizations rely on “outcomes based” measures to allocate precious program money. Without quantitative rigor, making the most of their resources is difficult. Furthermore, as community development groups have been slow at adopting the latest information technology advances that can enable better monitoring, benchmarking and impact analysis. Consequently, non-profits depend on faulty evidence to support the efficacy of their programs. Donors and government sponsors are demanding more transparency and measurable results to maximize the impact of their limited resources.
The Conventional Approach: A number of nonprofit philanthropic organizations have developed in-house performance metrics. However, many of those organizations use the metrics as a decision making tool in directing where to donate. Other nonprofit consulting organizations use metrics to help nonprofit organizations with long term planning. These consulting organizations tend not to focus on economic development programs. Rather, they have garnered expertise in other niches.
PERC’s Unique Solution: PERC works with these nonprofit organizations with community development programs to develop a road map for the collection of relevant data. Using a variety of public, private and organizational resources, including consumer credit records, we can evaluate and track the efficacy of financial literacy, homeownership, and small business programs. Benchmarking the credit records of people enrolled in specific programs and comparing them with specifically defined comparison groups and with randomly unselected applicants then enables PERC to develop and test a series of metrics. These metrics allow PERC to assess program-level efficiency, identify appropriate time horizons for evaluations, and assist in targeting segments in need. This gives non-profits the quantitative data they need to be more effective and to demonstrate their success to donors to secure the funding they need.