Projects That Matter: Successful Planning and Evaluation for Religious Organizations
Kathleen A. CahalanProjects That Matter
is a primer for project leaders and teams about basic project planning and evaluation. Intended for the nonexpert, the book introduces readers to the five basic elements of project design and describes in detail a six-step process for designing and implementing a project evaluation and for disseminating evaluation findings. Project leaders in congregations, colleges and seminaries, camps and other specialized ministries, and other religious settings will find Cahalan’s guidance clear and invaluable.
Cahalan presents evaluation as a form of collaborative inquiry and shows how leaders can use evaluation design to develop effective project plans and prepare case statements for donors or grant proposals for foundations. She introduces project planning and evaluation as mission-related practices and invites leaders to consider how their tradition’s particular mission and beliefs influence the way they plan and evaluate. In the final chapter, she makes explicit her own theological presuppositions—that the virtues of discernment, stewardship, and prudence are essential for good project planning and evaluation. Foreword by Craig Dykstra.
Praise for the Book
“Kathleen Cahalan has written a splendid primer for all of us in religious organizations who need a little guidance as we plan our projects and programs, try to keep track of how they are going once they are under way, and look for ways to figure out whether they are meeting their marks.” —Craig Dykstra
“Projects That Matter will be invaluable to those who want to do good work, attract outside financial support, and convince decision makers and the larger public that they have created projects worthy of their support—a bedrock basic for success.” —Carl S. Dudley
“All leaders of religious organizations—professionals and volunteers—should read this book. The guide it contains to project planning and evaluation is the best I have seen: sensible, lucidly written, and illustrated with interesting cases. The brief essay that concludes the volume is brilliant practical theology. It will help religious organizations see clearly that planning and evaluation are not merely tools in support of mission but the actual stuff of faithful ministry.” —Barbara Wheeler
About the AuthorKathleen A. Cahalan is on the faculty of St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and has served as evaluation coordinator for the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment, Inc., from 1996 to 2000. She has also been involved in numerous evaluation efforts, both as consultant and coach on evaluation strategy and as lead evaluator.
Alban No. AL266
paper, 107 pages
($12.00 for members)