Research and Evaluation/Winter 2016

Latest Volunteering and Civic Life in America released; with it CNCS Open Data

 On November 15th CNCS released to the public the 2015 Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) data. This year’s report found that 62.6 million adults (24.9 percent) volunteered through an organization last year.  Altogether, Americans volunteered nearly 7.8 billion hours in 2015, worth an estimated $184 billion, based on the Independent Sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour. The volunteer rate consistently remains stable and strong. Over the past 14 years, Americans have volunteered 113 billion hours, service worth an estimated $2.3 trillion.


In addition, more than 138 million Americans (62.5 percent) also engaged in informal volunteering in their communities, helping neighbors with such tasks as watching each other’s children, helping with shopping, or house sitting. In the map above, the darker the color, the higher overall rate of volunteer and civic engagement. 

With the release of the VCLA, CNCS also launched its new public data-sharing platform – CNCS Open Data. Users will not only be able to download data in useable formats like Excel, JSON and XML, but will also be able to use mapping and visualization tools right in the platform! Stay tuned as we add more and more datasets in 2017.

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How to Write an Evaluation Plan


This course explains the purpose of an evaluation plan and outlines the key sections of the plan and what should be included in each section. Here’s the link to the location on the Planning page, under the “Writing an Evaluation Plan

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2016 Summit logo

2016 CNCS Research Summit: From Evidence to Action

Even though registration for the Summit has closed, you can still join us online! We will be livestreaming the keynote and plenary speakers on our website. Check out the schedule and viewing link.

National Evaluation Yields New Pay for Success Insight

As one of the first federal government agencies to engage in and support the development of Pay for Success (PFS), CNCS has taken on a leadership role by sharing lessons learned through the program’s national process evaluation. Two special topic research briefs have published in the past month that illustrate the potential of PFS for bringing new players to the nonprofit sector and making new, innovative programs possible.

Using Pay for Success in Health Care, outlines a case study of three programs which identified the special challenges faced in the implementation of programs in the health care sector and the ways in which these programs worked with state offices to overcome regulatory barriers involved in using the PFS financing model.

Pay for Success as an Impact Investment, informs new and diverse investors about the benefits and challenges of financing PFS initiatives.  It also provides valuable information t0 PFS project implementers for educating or motivating current or potential investors about PFS.