CEO of Vantage Evaluation Publishes New Book to Change the Conversation on Evaluation

Dr. Elena Harman's "The Great Nonprofit Evaluation Reboot: A New Approach Every Staff Member Can Understand" explains why evaluation is fundamentally misaligned with the nonprofits it aims to serve.
DENVER - Feb. 8, 2019 - PRLog -- Evaluations are meant to provide valuable insights into a nonprofit's impact on the community it serves; however, the vast majority of evaluations and the data within them goes unread and unused. The Great Nonprofit Evaluation Reboot: A New Approach Every Staff Member Can Understand, authored by Elena Harman, PhD, explains why evaluation is fundamentally misaligned with the nonprofits it aims to serve. Written as a reference for executive directors, program staff, communications managers, development staff, foundations, and board members, the book provides jargon-free strategy and actionable advice about how nonprofits can measure their efforts, ask the right questions, and experience the true power of evaluation as a tool to improve an organization's work.

"Nonprofits exist to fulfill a mission and make an impact," stated Dr. Harman. "But they don't always understand the true value of their programs because they see evaluation as punitive or don't understand how to use the data on their outcomes. This book expresses my core belief that we should use evaluation as a tool for thinking and learning, not data and accountability. When everyone in an organization understands and learns from the data, they can make changes to better their programs and increase impact in their communities. "

Dr. Harman is the CEO of Vantage Evaluation (, a consulting firm she founded to evolve the way that purpose-driven nonprofits think about and use evaluation—from data for data's sake to evaluation as a learning process to guide strategic improvements. Dr. Harman's expertise lies in maintaining the big-picture view of how evaluation can inform high-quality social programming and engaging diverse audiences in a productive conversation about evaluation.

Prior to launching Vantage Evaluation in 2013, Dr. Harman was an internal evaluator at the Colorado Health Foundation, where she helped launch the Foundation's measurable results evaluation model. She holds a bachelors of science in brain and cognitive sciences from M.I.T. and a masters and PhD in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods from Claremont Graduate University. Her work has been published in the journal "Evaluation and Program Planning," she is a regular presenter at nonprofit conferences throughout Colorado, and is the president of the Colorado Evaluation Network.

Dr. Harman's book has already received accolades from experts in the nonprofit sector including Amy Lantham, vice president of philanthropy for the Colorado Health Foundation who stated, "Reading this book has affirmed my belief in, and ignited my passion for, evaluation as a tool for increasing impact." Latham continued, "I've been working in the nonprofit field for nearly twenty years. In that time, I've worn many hats, including executive director, communications manager, development person, and board member. Elena's advice on how evaluation can contribute to the effectiveness of each one of these roles, as well as the unique vantage point that each plays in effective evaluation, is both insightful and practical."

The Great Nonprofit Evaluation Reboot: A New Approach Every Staff Member Can Understand, published by CharityChannel Press, is now available on ( For more information on Dr. Harman and to request copies of the book for review, visit


About Elena Harman, PhD and Vantage Evaluation

Dr. Elena Harman, PhD is the CEO of Vantage Evaluation (, Colorado's leading partner, resource and voice for evaluation. Dr. Harman founded Vantage Evaluation to help organizations understand what's working and what's not, so they can make strategic improvements based on findings in their evaluation. She operates Vantage Evaluation with the vision of a Colorado where all purpose-driven organizations think about and use evaluation as an essential tool to strategically improve programs and systems to create a stronger, more dynamic community for us all.

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