Strategies to Achieve Social Impact
TCC Group Strategy Programs/Grants Management Capacity Building Evaluation


Our knowledge sharing activities reflect our commitment to prompting new thinking about planning, evaluation, capacity building, and grants management, all in an effort to help the field achieve greater social impact.

Our staff regularly publish and present insights from our work and develop new frameworks, tools, and resources for the social sector. TCC Group's knowledge is typically shared through a number of formats, including briefing papers, presentations, webinars, articles in leading publications, and our newsletters. Feedback is very important to us, and we invite your comments on these materials.

To receive copies of any of our materials or to request permission to reprint or redistribute them, contact our Marketing Department at (212) 949-0990 or

Books & Publications

Advocacy Campaigns and Embedded Evaluators: Lessons Learned
Visionary Resistance: Inside the Rapid-Response Model of the Emergent Fund

The Emergent Fund started as a plane built in mid-air in response to the threats posed by the 2016 election. Resources were urgently needed in many places without much time for deliberation. Then in the summer of 2017, following several rounds of grantmaking that began in January, the Emergent Fund took a pause to evaluate and learn about its model and the impact it had on selected grantees.

Founding partners Women Donors Network and Solidaire, along with partners Democracy Alliance and Threshold Foundation with the support from TCC Group are happy to share the current findings.

Advocacy Campaigns and Embedded Evaluators: Lessons Learned
Advocacy Campaigns and Embedded Evaluators: Lessons Learned

From 2014 to 2016, TCC Group (TCC) partnered with Pre-K for PA Campaign and Campaign for Fair Education Funding (CFEF), to act as their embedded evaluator. For each advocacy campaign, TCC’s focus was on the quality of strategy, progress on short- and long-term goals, and internal capacity. Working with CFEF and Pre-K for PA provided TCC with the opportunity to confirm trends seen in other evaluations and to develop new insights. This piece shares nine insights from the first two years of work.

Unique Methods in Multi-Stakeholder Advocacy Evaluation
Unique Methods in Multi-Stakeholder Advocacy Evaluation

A seminal resource in the advocacy evaluation field, “Unique methods in advocacy evaluation” (Coffman & Reed, 2010) increased evaluators’ awareness of methods uniquely positioned to evaluate advocacy. This second brief adds to that toolbox, this time focusing on methods that have been successfully used to understand multi-stakeholder advocacy.

Capturing General Operating Support Effectiveness: An Evaluation Framework for Funders and Evaluators
Capturing General Operating Support Effectiveness: An Evaluation Framework for Funders and Evaluators

Data show that general operating support is on the rise. Yet foundations and evaluators alike need to better understand how to measure the impact of these grants. In this briefing paper, TCC Group reflects on its work evaluating general operating support, and provides a comprehensive outcomes framework that maps out four key dimensions of success to effectively measure general operating grants; a comprehensive list of potential outcomes within these four dimensions; elements to determine a nonprofit or foundation's readiness to receive or aware GOS (respectively); and a decision tree to guide funders that may consider providing general support.

Effective Strategies to Support Advocacy Campaigns: Considerations for Funders and Advocates
Effective Strategies to Support Advocacy Campaigns: Considerations for Funders and Advocates

This report shares collected insights from funders and advocates across the country, in the hope that their observations will helpfully contribute to other funding and campaign efforts. These respondents noted that while considerable attention has been paid to factors informing the development of sound campaign strategy, comparatively less attention has been paid to the structural and operational issues that undergird successful campaign efforts. Our research accordingly focuses on these matters.

What Makes an Effective Coalition?
What Makes an Effective Coalition?

What are the crucial ingredients for an effective coalition or network, and how can they be cultivated and evaluated? Director of Evaluation Jared Raynor shares TCC's research on best practices with regard to effective advocacy coalitions. This work was commissioned by The California Endowment, a leading funder of policy advocacy efforts.

What Makes an Effective Advocacy Organization?
What Makes an Effective Advocacy Organization?

In an effort to develop frameworks and methodologies to be able to meaningfully evaluate policy change efforts, TCC Group conducted an evaluation of a cohort of advocacy organizations who were receiving general support from The California Endowment. This resulting paper draws on a variety of sources, looking at the context for policy and advocacy work and the distinctive characteristics of such work, outlining a model for evaluating organizational capacity and describing how this is adapted for advocacy organizations. This piece serves to benefit foundations who want to expand and improve their grantmaking to advocacy organizations, but feel limited by their ability to understand how to assess potential grantees or their capacity to carry out the proposed activities; as well as provide insights to evaluators themselves.

A Funder's Guide to Evaluation: Leveraging Evaluation to Improve Nonprofit Effectiveness

Traditionally, funders expect evaluation to show that resources are being used wisely. Author Peter York looks at how evaluation can be leveraged as a much more powerful tool for both funders and nonprofits.

Success by Design: How R&D — Not Scientific Rigor — Activates Program Innovation and Improvement in the Nonprofit Sector

It's time to bring a staple of the for-profit sector into the nonprofit community: Research and Development. An R&D approach to measurement requires adherence to distinct principles, enabling an organization to translate information into immediate action and program improvement.

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What Makes Volunteers Stay?

Associate Director of Evaluation PeiYao Chen answers the question, "What Makes Volunteers Stay?" in a recent blog for Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Learning in Public

In response to growing demand for information from the nonprofit capacity-building field, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation launched the OE Goldmine Research Project to collect, organize, and analyze data from its Organizational Effectiveness Program. TCC Group's evaluation team was engaged to examine a number of key organizational effectiveness questions and then using an innovative "learning in public" approach to further refine findings and disseminate key learnings. In the spirit of that approach, we're sharing our findings.

Cluster Consulting: Evaluation Services for Groups of Grantees

As part of TCC Group's Cohort Consulting services, our Evaluation Department offers an effective and cost-efficient way to help groups of grantees build their evaluation capacity, including an evaluation design and products and tools that may used in an organization's evaluation.

The Literature Review

Senior Partner and Chief Research and Learning Officer Peter York talks about how the literature review, a basic but underutilized research tool, can become the bridge between lofty promises and direct, measurable results.

Development and implementation of an evaluation strategy for measuring conservation outcomes

In a recent issue of Zoo Biology, TCC Group's Peter York and Jared Raynor assessed the conservation-related impact of a visit to The Philadelphia Zoo and provided a set of actionable strategies.

Effective Nonprofit Evaluation: Through a "Community of Learners"

TCC's Associate Director of Evaluation, Chantell Johnson and affiliate, Allison Crean, CEO of Informed Educators Consulting Group, provide seven pragmatic steps for effectively building the evaluation capacity of stakeholders while designing a complex evaluation.

Creating a Community of Learners: Successful Evaluative Learning for Nonprofits and Funders

The increasing emphasis on evaluation and accountability has led nonprofits to reconsider how they conduct evaluations in an effort to find a way that is both meaningful to the staff and useful for their funders. This paper explores the Community of Learners approach as an evaluation method that actively involves the staff and leaders of a foundation or nonprofit in the evaluation process.

Learning As We Go: Making Evaluation Work for Everyone

This paper distills what TCC has learned about evaluative learning and provides information and tools to help you take the next steps so everyone can "learn as we go."

Evaluating Capacity-building Efforts for Nonprofit Organizations

This paper explains how funders, management support organizations, evaluators, and nonprofits can evaluate efforts to enhance the management and governance of nonprofit organizations.

Creating a Community of Learners in an Economic Recession

Evaluation in tough economic times is not an oxymoron, as funders bring an even more critical eye to their grantees, ensuring that dollars are well-spent and creating the desired impact.Now is the time to emphasize building an organization's capacity for evaluation, becoming smart consumers of evaluation by effectively allocating the right resources, facilitating learning and developing existing assets within the organization.

Presentations & Webinars

Success by Design—An R&D Approach to Evaluation

In this webinar, Senior Partner and Chief Research and Learning Officer Peter York discusses how to use R&D methods to reach organizational goals faster, less expensively, and with greater stakeholder engagement. Download the presentation here.

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Research & Development: A New Form of Evaluation

TCC Group's Senior Partner and Chief Research and Learning Officer Peter York and Associate Director PeiYao Chen highlight the value of an R & D approach to data collection for funders and nonprofits. This method empowers the sector to bring new perspectives, data, strategies, and learning to the table. Download the presentation here.

Learn About Charity Effectiveness

Peter York joined a panel at the Better Business Bureau's 2012 Charity Effectiveness Symposium, where the discussion focused on managing great performance through robust planning and Evaluation. Watch the video here.

A Community of Learners For Your Evaluation Needs
Evaluation: An Essential Tool for Strategic Learning
Evaluation: Make It Effective and Manageable


A Community of Learners

In recent years, internal evaluation has become increasingly useful, both for nonprofit organizations and for funders. For funders, such mechanisms have been useful to measure the success of their funding strategies. Nonprofits have been used to satisfy both the increasing external demand for accountability and to more accurately measure their impacts and successes. In this podcast, TCC Group talks about building a community of learners as one strategy towards the development of an organization's evaluation and programmatic capacity and effectiveness.

Evaluating Organizational Capacity of Policy and Advocacy Organization

Advocacy as a strategy for the nonprofit sector has become increasingly widespread. Foundations are looking to fund more of this type of work; nonprofits are learning how to harness its power toward better achieving their mission; and both are trying to better understand how to evaluate success. As the strategy of advocacy has grown, organizations have learned important advocacy skills. But, what does it mean to be an effective advocacy organization? What capacities are important for putting into practice advocacy strategies? How can organizations (and funders) ensure they have the capacity for doing advocacy work? Barbara Masters, Astrid Hendricks, and Jared Raynor briefly examine some of these issues.