The appropriate evaluation of nonprofit service organizations receiving the public’s money, either through donations or government grants, is a crucial step to ensuring those organizations perform their work effectively.
It is an issue of great importance in criminal rehabilitative programs—and relatively simple—as examining arrest records can easily determine recidivist rates for program participants, and funds to pay for regular criminal records search and analysis by an objective third party, should be part of every program.
Advocacy programs—such as Lampstand—are evaluated by the volume, cogency, platforms, and distribution of their advocacy and the information addressing those issues needs to be part of their annual report.
This article from North Carolina comments on the need for oversight of nonprofits.
“RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina fails to provide enough or consistent oversight to ensure hundreds of millions of dollars disbursed to nonprofits annually from state agencies are used appropriately, a legislative watchdog agency said Monday.
“The report released by the General Assembly's Program Evaluation Division reviewed how agencies tracked $694 million distributed during the 2007-08 fiscal year to nonprofits.
“The report found there's no streamlined process to evaluate if the money is meeting expected outcomes, which means there are varying levels of accountability across state government.
"Right now, we have a game of checkers with no spaces on the board," John Turcotte, the division's director, told lawmakers. "It's just a hodgepodge from agency to agency."
“The Legislature toughened reporting requirements earlier this decade after a state auditor's report questioned expenses by a nonprofit foundation started with help of state funds secured by then-state Sen. Frank Ballance. Ballance ultimately went to federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to divert foundation money to his family and others.
“State agency oversight is important because 94 percent of the 2,758 nonprofits receive or spend less than $500,000 in funds annually, the report said. Under that threshold, the nonprofits only must file annual reports with line-item expenditures but aren't required to document those expenses and or get an outside audit.
"These forms ... may be only worth the value of the paper they're written on," said Carol Ripple, the report's primary author.”