What are the needs of your community members?
CARRS has worked with Mid-Michigan county organizations to conduct telephone interviews with county residents to determine the needs of their household members as well as to understand their perceptions about areas of concerns for the general community. These needs assessment data have been used by organizations to create their strategic plans and to assist with their efforts to raise funds to support needed community projects.
How satisfied are your clients and customers?
CARRS has conducted numerous satisfaction surveys through telephone interviews, on-line surveys, and U.S. mail surveys to help organizations determine the extent to which the programs and services they offer clients and customers are being well received. Organizations, including Central Michigan University, find that funding agents and external constituencies increasingly want information from clients on their perceptions of services. In addition, organizations that wish to expand their operations need to know where clients perceive organizational strengths, as well as organizational weaknesses.
Do you want to empower your clients so that you can understand your organization as your clients see it?
CARRS has used focus groups to allow community residents and the clients of organizations to discuss their views about their needs and concerns -- in their own words and at length. People enjoy focus groups, because the discussions can be enlightening and empowering for all concerned. And, such discussions can help organizations better understand the ways in which their programs and services are impacting clients.
Do you want to engage in program or outcomes evaluation (or do you need to)?
CARRS has worked with social service agencies in mid-Michigan to determine whether the programs they offer are having the impact that was intended. Organizations need such data for their own program improvement purposes and funders increasing ask the question "Does the program work?" before they are willing to commit new or additional funds. Increasingly, organizations are being asked to think not only about client and customer satisfaction, but also about whether programs lead to desired outcomes.
Do you need assistance with organizational goal setting and planning?
CARRS has assisted community organizations and the University by using data to set priorities for the future. Evidence-based decision-making and the use of evidence in planning requires that organizations gather or maintain data and that they understand both the strengths and the limitaitons of the use of such empirical evidence.
References available upon request. Past clients include:
- President and Vice Presidents at CMU
- Union Township
- Midland Parks and Recreation Commission
- Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency
- MidMichigan Visiting Nurse Association
- Prevention Network
- United Way organizations in mid-Michigan
- Wexford County Commission