WEAVING OUR MISSION WITH YOURS
Author: Pam Ashley
Published: September 19, 2019
Nonprofits in our community are driven by their powerful and heart-felt missions. I want to explore how our mission here at STEPs aligns with those missions of our partner organizations.
The STEPs team spent a good deal of time and energy defining our own mission:
STEPs promotes evidence-informed decision making through research and evaluation using a collaborative, utilization-focused approach to support social service programs and policies that transform and improve lives.
It lays out our focus and passion, but can also be a little overwhelming. So, let’s step through how our mission aligns with those of our partners.
Our social service program partners strive to transform and improve lives with a focus defined by their mission. They wrestle with using their available resources wisely to fulfill that mission. To be successful in that effort, organizations need to make strategic decisions about their direction and resources. That’s where STEPs comes in.
Strategic decisions need to be informed by evidence and insights. The STEPs staff–professionals, faculty and students alike–bring evaluation expertise and experience to support our partners in making those decisions. Here’s how we do that:
1. We start by gaining an understanding of what strategic decisions need to be made. This ensures that our work and projects are “utilization-focused.”
2. We work in collaboration with our partners to define each project including its objectives, approaches, timeline, and cost.
3. We gather, analyze, and present the research data or “evidence” defined in the step above.
4. We support our partners in understanding and applying that evidence to their strategic decisions.
Through this process we fulfill our mission, and in doing so, support our partners in achieving theirs–weaving our mission with yours!