Upcoming Sessions

Program Overview

Performance measurement is essential for organizational innovation, learning, and success. Nonprofits, however, must evaluate social or environmental outcomes as well as financial performance, and the ideal metrics are not always easy to identify. Indeed, to improve the effectiveness of a nonprofit organization—especially when tackling society's toughest challenges—senior executives and board members must prioritize assessment of organizational performance. 

In Harvard Kennedy School’s Driving Nonprofit Performance and Innovation online executive program, you will explore how to align mission and strategy through performance measurement. Through live presentations led by Faculty Chair Dutch Leonard and other Harvard faculty, along with case studies and group discussions, you will learn to think conceptually about performance measurement and prepare to lead performance-focused initiatives that will empower your organization and drive new levels of success.

This virtual program features sessions on innovation and organizational learning; generating evidence about an intervention's effectiveness; building a culture of performance measurement; and managing for collective impact amid the challenges of today's rapidly changing world. Join us to learn how to align your organization’s mission, strategy, and performance—and how to develop a culture of learning and innovation at your nonprofit. You will also discover how to assess and communicate outcomes to partners and stakeholders. And you will find out how to identify key metrics, and institute and sustain organizational performance measurement.



illustration of scheduleDeveloped by the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education, and The Hauser Institute for Civil Society, Driving Nonprofit Performance and Innovation is an online program designed to cover all aspects of nonprofit performance measurement.

The program will take place over six half days: Thursday, March 21 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET), and Monday, March 25 through Friday, March 29 from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM ET daily. Live online classes will run from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM ET. Participants will spend one hour with their discussion groups in the mornings before classes on Monday, March 25 through Friday, March 29 from 8:00 to 9:00 AM ET. Select days will also feature open conversations with faculty. The program sessions take place via the Zoom platform. Please note that there are no live program sessions scheduled from Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 24.



Driving Nonprofit Performance and Innovation covers these key areas:

  • Aligning mission and organizational performance management: Linking organizational performance, mission, and impact; comparing what is being measured and what is being delivered; developing a theory of change and logic model
  • Challenges and obstacles to managing organizational performance: Building a performance-based culture; developing capacity within the organization; implementing a performance management strategy
  • Innovation through measurement: Designing experiments to develop new interventions and improve existing programs; fostering a learning mindset
  • Collaborating with partners: Using data to communicate social and environmental outcomes to key stakeholders; dealing with the forces that shape the nonprofit environment
  • Sustainable performance management systems: Understanding and overcoming implementation challenges; institutionalizing continuous improvement in your organization; assessing communication issues

Application Information

This leadership training program is suited for individuals as well as teams. It is focused on organization-level performance measurement and management, not individual-level or human resource-focused performance measurement and management. View a sample program schedule here.


“This program gave me the tools to create a properly calibrated, flexible performance measurement system. It is a transformational experience for anyone leading a nonprofit organization.”

Kevin Worden, Executive Director, Rochester Habitat for Humanity
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Faculty & Research

Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard Photo

Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard

George F. Baker, Jr. Professor of Public Management, HKS; Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration, HBS

James Honan Photo

James Honan

Senior Lecturer on Education, HGSE

 Mitchell B. Weiss

Mitchell B. Weiss


Julie Boatright Wilson Photo

Julie Boatright Wilson

Harry S. Kahn Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, Emeritus


"This is a great program for any leader looking to help their nonprofit organization adapt to a new reality, objectively assess performance, and improve decision making at all levels of the organization"

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