Bloggers Week: Trina Willard on For Good Measure

Greetings! My name is Trina Willard and I am the Principal of Knowledge Advisory Group, a small consulting firm in Central Virginia that provides research and evaluation services to nonprofits, government agencies and small businesses.  In addition to client work, I teach evaluation to nonprofit professionals and blog whenever I can.

Rad Resource – For Good Measure: Knowledge Advisory Group publishes something new on For Good Measure about 1-2 times per month.  We’re interested in sharing news and perspectives about measurement and evaluation in the nonprofit, government and business sectors.  Our blog focuses largely on measurement strategy, design and implementation tips for process and outcome evaluations, and our favorite evaluation-relevant resources.  We also like to draw upon real life experiences to demonstrate the value of evaluation decision-making. Post will link to some of our favorite blogs as well, to highlight the breadth of knowledge on the web, and now we’re adding guest bloggers too – so drop me a line at with your suggestions for content or contributors you’d like to see!  Occasionally, For Good Measure also shares complimentary messages that are related to overall organizational health, in areas such as leadership, planning, marketing, fundraising, and emerging industry trends.

Hot Tips – Favorite Posts:  Some of my favorite posts to date are noted below.

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Enjoyed Evaluation 2013:  What happens when you combine the American Evaluation Association Conference, a little late night television, and a Chris Lysy cartoon?  This post.

It Was a Slow Train to Dallas But So Worth the Trip:  This blog post tells the story of the puppy that joined our family last year, with the help of the nonprofit community and a few evaluation techniques.  His picture alone is worth a look!

The Best Parade Ever:  Sometimes, evaluation is the foundation for a story that grabs your heart. I share an example of the power of blending quantitative and qualitative perspectives, based on an experience at the National Association for Drug Court Professionals Conference.

Lessons Learned – Why I blog:  I actually like to write.  (Seriously, I do.)  I’m a lifelong learner, so I enjoy gathering information and sharing it with others.  Blogging is a great way to engage with other evaluators beyond my geographical region, and to raise awareness about my firm’s services for potential clients.  Finally, I like the idea of sharing resources with organizations that could benefit from free/low-cost evaluation assistance.

Lessons Learned:  Evaluation is part science and part art.  Try blogging to exercise your creative muscles! In addition, give yourself permission to lack perfection and be authentic – showing your personality is a big part of the blogging experience.

This winter, we’re continuing our occasional series highlighting evaluators who blog. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


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