Non-Profit Projects


Active Projects


Engaging Schools

Engaging Schools is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with middle and high school leaders to create positive school communities. Through professional development, resources, and coaching, Engaging Schools staff help school personnel to develop equitable schoolwide discipline systems and ways to support students academically, socially, and emotionally.

The Evaluation Center is collaborating with Engaging Schools to develop comprehensive logic models to describe their work. Evaluators are also assisting with the identification of appropriate instruments that align with the goals of the Engaging School and the development of a rigorous evaluation plan to assess program impact.


Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver

Evaluation Dates: January 2016 – December 2018

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver was established in 1979 by a group of volunteers who saw the need for more affordable housing options in the community. Since then, the need for decent, affordable housing has continued to increase across metro Denver, and Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver has become one of the largest affiliates in the U.S. Habitat Metro Denver currently serves more than 100 families per year through new home construction, home renovations, and funding the construction of Habitat homes in partner countries around the world. Habitat’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

The Evaluation Center is collaborating with Habitat to implement a 30-year longitudinal research study on the impact of becoming a Habitat homeowner and the personal transformation that occurs after a family buys their Habitat home. An additional goal is to better understand the impact on the surrounding community where Habitat homes are concentrated, such as a large-scale development in Sheridan, Colorado that Habitat Metro Denver is developing. All aspects of the research study are collaboratively developed to increase Habitat’s evaluation capacity and to support a vision for a sustainable evaluation of the Habitat homeownership.

The research is designed to measure four elements:

  1. Changes in the surrounding community
  2. Impacts on Habitat homeowners in the Sheridan development
  3. A metro-area Habitat homeowner survey
  4. Impacts on the children of Habitat homeowners

The research study uses a combination of primary data collection, analysis of extant data, and data reporting for a variety of audiences. In addition to traditional data collection via interviews and surveys, neighborhood observations are analyzed through a photo analysis to examine neighborhood well-being indicators such as infrastructure, walkability, safety, and child friendliness.

The research design also employs the wealth of data already collected and publicly available through the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to serve as a valid comparison. The PSID data source is used to compare outcome indicators with primary data collected on Habitat adults and children and by applying propensity score matching to pair Habitat adults and children on demographic characteristics.

Throughout the project, the Evaluation Center and Habitat staff are working in concert to develop tools, manuals, and training guides to build Habitat’s ability to take on a greater proportion of the data collection in future years, thereby increasing their internal capacity.


Rise Above Colorado

Evaluation Dates: 2017-2020

The Evaluation Center is working with Rise Above Colorado (RAC), a local nonprofit whose mission is to empower youth to a life free of drug abuse, to develop an evaluation of its current efforts.

RAC identifies community organizations who work with youth and prescription drug misuse to offer them a variety of supports, including training on using the Positive Youth Development Framework, implementing social norming campaigns, and raising awareness on safe use, storage, and disposal of prescription drugs.

RAC hopes to better understand the value and effectiveness of its partnerships, support, and training. The Evaluation Center will conduct a mixed-methods evaluation using surveys, interviews, and document reviews. Evaluators will use a participatory approach in instrument development, data interpretation, and evaluation dissemination. Annual surveys will be administered to understand changes in community partner attitudes, knowledge, skills, and intent because of their relationship with RAC. Evaluators will also interview community partners to gain a deeper understanding of how partnering with RAC has led to changes in practice and how partnerships can be strengthened. Throughout the project, The Evaluation Center will collect and review community partner documents to triangulate survey and interview data.

Past Projects


Goodwill Industries of Denver: Youth Services

Evaluation Dates: January 2008 – August 2016
Collaborative evaluation with Goodwill’s internal Program Monitoring and Evaluation team. Efforts focused on thorough evaluations of Goodwill’s K-12 focused programs.

Goodwill Industries of Denver: Community Employment and Day Programs

Evaluation Dates: 2010 – 2015
Collaborative evaluation with Goodwill’s internal Program Monitoring and Evaluation team. Efforts focused on formative and process evaluation using multiple data collection methods.

Goodwill Industries of Denver: Career Development Services (CDS)

Collaborative evaluation with Goodwill’s internal Program Monitoring and Evaluation team. Efforts focused on instrument development and data collection of client served through the CDS programs.
Evaluation Dates: 2011 – 2015

Junior Achievement – Igniting the American Spirit

Evaluation Dates: 2010 – 2013
Summative evaluation looking at student attitudes, content knowledge, and academic progression of students in this Junior Achievement program.

Colorado Children’s Campaign – Colorado Small Schools Initiative (CSSI)

Evaluation Dates: 2009 – 2009
Summative evaluation of the Colorado Small School Initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that was implemented by the Colorado Children’s Campaign 2001-2006.

Passage Works

Evaluation Dates: 2008 – 2008
Evaluation of a 9th grade transition program in Denver Public Schools


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