Spring 2015 Newsletter

Spring 2015 Newsletter


In December, we ran elections for the two open leadership positions, as Aimee White, business co-chair, was elected to the AEA Board and Marcus Martin, program co-chair, finished his term. Many thanks to all who voted--we had an exciting candidate pool. We appreciate all of those who stepped up to run for the election--it is a testament to our members’ commitment to the field!

We are happy to announce the two new members of the NPFTIG leadership team: Kathryn Hill is joining us as business co-chair and Molly Hamm as program co-chair. Their introductions to the NPFTIG membership are below:

Hello! My name is Kathryn Hill (but feel free to call me Kathy), and I live in the Minneapolis area. I am the new business co-chair, and I am honored to have this opportunity to be actively involved with the work and learning of the Nonprofit and Foundation TIG. I have a doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota (evaluation studies program) and several years of experience as an internal evaluator and evaluation manager, working with large-scale grant-funded projects. After years of employment in school districts and state agencies, I am now a grants administrator with the American Heart Association (since 2012), responsible for annual reporting and evaluation of foundation-funded projects. I am looking forward to working with you, our TIG members!

¡Saludos! My name is Molly Hamm, and I’m pleased to join the Nonprofit and Foundations TIG this year as the Program Co-Chair. I’m currently the Associate Director of the Dominican Republic Education and Mentoring (DREAM) Project, a nonprofit organization based in sunny Cabarete, Puerto Plata. I’ve also been working with Caribbean Evaluators International (CEI) and local Dominican evaluators to help build a Voluntary Organization for Professional Evaluators (VOPE) in the country. My main focus is education and youth development, and I love collaborating with nonprofits and nonprofit professionals who share the same interests. I also have a particularly strong interest in international work and received a master’s degree in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University. I’m thrilled to support the TIG and its members in this new leadership role, and hope to hear from many of you throughout the year--as well as meet in person at AEA 2015!


The Evaluation 2015 conference will take place November 9 -14, 2015 in Chicago, IL with the theme of “Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World: Learning from Evaluation's Successes Across the Globe,” which will coincide with 2015 being declared the International Year of Evaluation.

Evaluation 2015 will emphasize exemplary learning and proceedings to help create a truly global evaluation community, highlighting exemplary evaluation best practices and real-world examples in an effort to improve the practice of evaluation and create a better future.

Nonprofits and foundations are on the front lines of changing the world, and the Nonprofit & Foundations TIG is AEA’s largest, so we anticipate lots of exciting and memorable sessions this year.

Do you have a great idea for a session topic?

We encourage you to submit your session abstracts on the AEA Proposal Submission Portal. We will consider abstracts that span a broad range of topics, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Examine evaluation models that were effective in specific nonprofit program settings
  • Describe successful strategies that captured and/or set the course for your nonprofit or foundation’s impact on a particularly challenging/entrenched issue within a community or within society more broadly
  • Illustrate exceptional experiences in evaluation from your foundation’s strategies and impact
  • Provide concrete evaluation strategies, tips and tricks for practitioners working in nonprofits
  • Present and/or collaboratively refine an evaluation tool that has been developed or used by your nonprofit organization or foundation
  • Share a skill and develop the evaluation capacity of nonprofit and foundation professionals
  • Analyze lessons learned and best practices from diverse evaluation initiatives
  • Generate new ideas related to emerging themes in evaluation practice for nonprofits and foundations

In advance of submitting, please be sure to carefully review the descriptions of each presentation type and choose the appropriate one for each of your sessions. Whenever possible, please also identify specific individuals who are willing to serve as chairs / discussants for your session(s) and include their names as part of your submission. The proposal submission deadline is Monday, March 16, 2015.

Would you like to help with the proposal review process?

Are you inclined to contribute to the conference from behind the scenes rather than (or perhaps even as well as) from center stage? We have opportunities for you too! We need volunteers to each review a few of the many abstracts we receive as AEA’s largest TIG to ensure that our sessions are valuable, relevant, and compelling for our members. Abstract review by volunteers will take place around April. If you are submitting a proposal yourself, you can indicate on your submission form that you would like to be a reviewer. If you are not submitting a proposal, you can still review--we’d love to hear from you (our contact information is below)!

Please feel free to contact Claire (claire.sterling@aspca.org) and Molly (mollymhamm@gmail.com) if you have questions or need further information about either submitting abstracts or reviewing them.

Call for Submissions for the Evaluation Exemplars Project

As mentioned above, AEA is launching an inquiry into exemplary evaluation in line with the 2015 Conference theme Exemplary Evaluations in a Mutlicultural World: Learning from Evaluation's Successes Across the Globe. 2015 is the International Year of Evaluation, and AEA would like to open the floor for broader discussions of AEA members, through the TIGs, about just the kind of evaluations AEA is promoting in the world.

As part of this process, AEA will be highlighting select exemplars for recognition at the 2015 Conference based on the AEA mission, vision, and principles. AEA will be looking for examples of evaluations that recognize and address the multicultural nature of today’s world, whether they are evaluations that take place at community, city, state, national or international level. Each TIG is able to nominate one submission to represent excellence in evaluations related to the TIG; in our case, we will be looking for submissions that reflect excellence in nonprofit and foundation settings.

Please note that all submissions will be honored in some way at the conference but the top chosen (3-5) by AEA will be used in celebration of exemplary evaluations in the International Year of Evaluation and highlighted at the Evaluation 2015 conference.

We anticipate sending out additional information and specific instructions regarding this project in the coming weeks. However, if you are interested in submitting an evaluation exemplar, please contact Kathy Hill at hillkathryn763@gmail.com ASAP so that we are aware of your interest.


We will once again be hosting a week on AEA365, currently planned for the week of September 13. The leadership team will be determining a theme and soliciting pieces on that theme in the coming months. Be on the lookout for that announcement!


We welcome questions and comments; our contact information is below:

Laura Beals: lbeals@gmail.com | @laurabeals

Kathryn Hill: hillkathryn763@gmail.com

Claire Sterling: claire.sterling@aspca.org

Molly Hamm: mollymhamm@gmail.com

Dean Nelson: den@pitt.edu