ABSTRACT

Some social work managers and scholars may wonder whether program or organizational performance measurement even matters in the human service sector, especially among nonprofit human service organizations. After all, such organizations are charitable agencies designed first and foremost to provide services to those in need, right? Serving those in need most often seems like the most important objective, so why focus on other, less central objectives? Taking an extreme view, why should we bother with performance measurement at all, especially, as Pallotta (2008) describes, since measuring performance by way of financial metrics alone (assuming that is all that we can do well) has little to do with how a charitable organization is helping society, fulfilling its charitable mission, or creating social impact?