Evaluate your training
Evaluation is an important, yet sometimes overlooked part of training. It provides the crucial feedback needed to determine your session’s effectiveness. Without assessment, it’s difficult to determine whether training objectives were met, if sessions matched the skill sets of attendees and what, if any, changes should be made going forward.If you’re looking for some practical advice on evaluating your nonprofit training sessions, keep reading. This newsletter describes various methods trainers use to obtain and apply feedback to refine future trainings.

Evaluation techniques for excellent training
Providing excellent training involves making it worth the valuable time of those who attend. And what better way to determine your training’s success than through training evaluation. Here are three evaluation techniques you can use to assess and refine your next training session:

  1. Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels: Perhaps one of the more popular frameworks of training evaluation is The Kirkpatrick Model, a four level method of gauging training effectiveness. It is a widely used technique for determining both the effectiveness and impact of training; it does so by analyzing and measuring four distinct levels: reaction, learning, behavior and results. In level one, reaction, basic feedback about a participant’s satisfaction is acquired—similar to an end-of-class survey or questionnaire. Level two goes a step further and measures what a participant has learned. This is most easily obtained by defining objectives ahead of time and then measuring your trainee’s newfound knowledge against these objectives—perhaps through a pre- and post-session test or quiz. During level three, assess behavior and whether or not the skills obtained in your session are being used on the job. This type of assessment would pull not only from the experiences of the trainee, but also from whom they report to, and who reports to them. Finally, level four measures results, or the training’s effect on the organization’s key performance indicators.
  2. Formative evaluation: A second measurement technique of training effectiveness can be obtained through formative evaluations. Nonprofit blogger Beth Kanter describes multiple methods she uses where participants are asked to reflect on what they learned and how they will apply it. This is done by soliciting positive and constructive criticisms, a technique known as Plus/Delta. Kanter suggests a couple methods to obtain this type of feedback: trainees can use an index card writing positive comments on one side and criticisms on the other. Or, a piece of letter-sized paper can be folded into four sections—each quadrant can be used to answer the following questions: What was interesting? What will you put into practice as a result of the workshop? What was most useful? What would you change? Encourage participation by holding a drawing for those who provide feedback. A Titan Speaker Stand or Tech Trap make nice choices.
  3. Simple surveys: A simple evaluation should not be overlooked as an effective way of obtaining feedback. This technique can be helpful in assessing both the instructor’s facilitation skills and whether or not the training’s learning objectives were met. A simple lineup of statements that trainees can either agree or disagree to works well. And don’t forget to show gratitude to those who participated in your training and provided their valuable feedback. A pair of Retractable Colored Ear Buds, a Gamma Phone Stand with Stylus and Cleaner or a USB hub all make great thank-you gifts.

Now that you have the tools to obtain feedback, use them. Take the time to review the results of your evaluations to determine what you did well, what could be improved upon and what should be eliminated altogether. It will be time well spent.

Reaves-Powers, Caroline. “The Importance of Training Evaluations.” Catapult Business Training. 4 Sept. 2013. Web. 19 May 2014.

“Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model.” MindTools. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 19 May 2014.

Kanter, Beth. “Six Tips for Evaluating Your Nonprofit Training Session.” BethKanter.org. 18 Feb. 2014. Web. Retrieved 19 May 2014.

July

Monthly
Air-Conditioning Appreciation Days (7/3 to 8/15)
Bereaved Parents Awareness Month
Bioterrorism/Disaster Education & Awareness Month
Cell Phone Courtesy Month
Dog Days (7/3 to 8/11)
Eggplant and Lettuce Month
Eye Injury Prevention Month
Family Reunion Month
Family Golf Month
Freedom From Fear of Speaking Month
Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month
Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month
International Blondie and Deborah Harry Month
International Group B Strep Awareness Month
International Women with Alopecia Month
International Zine Month
Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
Mango and Melon Month
National Black Family Month
National Blueberries Month
National Child-Centered Divorce Month
National Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month
National Cord Blood Awareness Month
National “Doghouse Repairs” Month
National Grilling Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Horseradish Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Independent Retailers Month
National Make A Difference to Children Month
National Recreation & Parks Month
National Share A Sunset With Your Lover Month
National Wheelchair Beautification Month
Nectarine and Garlic Month
Sandwich Generation Month
Share A Sunset With Your Lover Month
Smart Irrigation Month
Social Wellness Month
Tour de France Month (Goes from 5-27)
Women’s Motorcycle Month
Women With Alopecia Month
Worldwide Bereaved Parents Month
Weekly
National Unassisted Homebirth Week: 1-7
Beans and Bacon Days: 3-6
Freedom Week: 4-10
Be Nice To New Jersey Week: 6-12
Creative Maladjustment Week: 6-12   National Farriers Week: 6-12
Nude Recreation Weekend: 6-13
World Future 2014: 11-13
Sports Cliché Week: 13-19
Rabbit Week: 15-21
National Baby Food Week: 16-19 
National Ventriloquism Week: 16-19
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) Education & Awareness Week: 18-25
Everybody Deserves A Massage Week: 20-26
National Parenting Gifted Children Week: 20-26
Captive Nations Week: 20-26
National Independent Retailers Week: 20-26
National Zoo Keeper Week: 20-26
Comic Con International: 24-27
World Lumberjack Championships: 24-26
Garlic Days: 25-27
AFRMA Fancy Rat & Mouse Week: 30-8/3
Daily
1: Canada Day
1: National GSA Employee Day
1: Second Half of The Year Day
1: U.S. Postage Stamp Day
1: Zip Code Day
2: I Forgot Day
2: Made In The USA Day
2: World UFO Day
3: Compliment Your Mirror Day
3: Earth at Aphelion
3: International Plastic Bag Free Day
3: Stay Out Of The Sun Day
4: Boom Box Parade Day
4: Fourth of July or Independence Day
4: Independence From Meat Day
4: Indivisible Day
4-6: Roswell UFO Days
5: Bikini Day
5: Hop A Park Day
5: International Chicken Wing Day
5: International Day of Cooperatives
5: International Cherry Pit Spitting Day
6: International Kissing Day or World Kiss Day
6: Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day
7: Chocolate Day
7: Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day
7: Global Forgiveness Day
7: Tell The Truth Day
8: Math 2.0 Day (Founding Day)
8: SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama)
9: Martyrdom of The Bab
10: Clerihew Day
10: Don’t Step On A Bee Day
10: Hot Dog Night
10: Piña Colada Day
10: Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day
11: Bowdler’s Day
11: Cheer Up The Lonely Day
11: Chick-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day
11: Day of The Five Billion
11: National Rainier Cherries Day
11: Slurpee Day
11: World Population Day
12: Bald Is In
12: Carver Day
12: Collector Car Appreciation Day
12: Grange Day
12: Simplicity Day
12: Wayne Chicken Day
13: Anne Hutchinson Memorial Day
13: Embrace Your Geekness Day
13: Gruntled Workers Day
13: National French Fries Day
14: International Nude Day
14: International Town Criers Day
14: Shark Awareness Day
15: Be A Dork Day
15: Gummi Worm Day
15: National Pet Fire Safety Day
15: Saint Swithin’s Day
17: Get to Know Your Customers Day
17: Wrong Way Corrigan Day
17: Yellow Pig Day
18: International Mandela Day
18: National Caviar Day
18: Nelson Mandela International Day
19: Flitch Day
19-20: Celebration of The Horse Day
19: National Hot Dog Day
19: Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day
19: Woodie Wagon Day
20: Lake Superior Day
20: Moon Day
20: Space Exploration Day
20: National Lollipop Day
20: National Ice Cream Day
21: Global Hug Your Kid Day
21: Legal Drinking Age Day
21: National Get Out of the Doghouse Day
21: No Pet Store Puppies Day
22: Casual Pi Day (22/7)
22: National Penuche Fudge Day
22: Rat-catchers Day
22: Spooners (Spoonerism) Day
23: Gorgeous Grandma Day
23: Hot Enough For Ya Day
24: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Pioneer Day
24: Cousins Day
24: National Drive-Thru Day
24: National Tequila Day
24: Tell An Old Joke Day
25: Carousel Day or Merry-Go-Round Day
25: Thread The Needle Day
25: Lumberjack Day
25: National Talk in An Elevator Day
25: System Administrator Appreciation Day
26: One Voice
26: National Dance Day
26: National Day of the Cowboy
26: Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day
27: Aunties Day
27: Barbie-in-a-blender Day
27: National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
27: Parents’ Day
27: Take Your Houseplant For A Walk Day
27: Walk on Stilts Day
28: Buffalo Soldiers Day
28: Eid-Al-Fitr
28: National Milk Chocolate Day
28: World Hepatitis Day
29: Lasagna Day
29: National Chicken Wing Day
29: Rain Day
30: Cheesecake Day
30: Father-In-Law Day
30: Health Care Now!  Medicare’s Birthday
30: International Day of Friendship
30: National Support Public Education Day
30: Paperback Book Day
31: National Chili Dog Day
31: National Mutt Day
31: Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day
31: World Ranger Day
August
Monthly
American Adventures Month
American Artists Appreciation Month
American Indian Heritage Month   (See also November)
American History Essay Contest (8/1 – 12/15)
Black Business Month
Bystander Awareness Month
Cataract Awareness Month
Celery, Fennel and Cactus Month
Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month
Child Support Awareness Month
Children’s Vision & Learning Month

Get Ready for Kindergarten Month
Golf Month
Happiness Happens Month
Motor Sports Awareness Month
National Breastfeeding Month
National Catfish Month
National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month 
National Goat Cheese Month
National Immunization Awareness Month
National Panini Month 
National Minority Donor Awareness Month
National Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
National Runaway Prevention Month
National Traffic Awareness Month
National Truancy Prevention Month
National Water Quality Month
National Win With Civility Month
Neurosurgery Outreach Month
Orange and Papaya Month
Psoriasis Awareness Month
What Will Be Your Legacy Month
World Mutt-i-grees Rescue Month
Weekly
International Tree Climbing Days: 1-5
International Clown Week: 1-7
Simplify Your Life Week: 1-7
World Breastfeeding Week: 1-7
Assistance Dog Week: 3-9   
Exercise With Your Child Week: 3-9
Knights of Columbus Family Week: 3-9
National Farmers’ Market Week: 3-9
National Fraud Awareness Week: 3-9
Old Fiddler’s Week: 3-9
Single Working Women’s Week: 3-9
Stop on Red Week: 3-9
Exhibitor Appreciation Week: 4-8
Rock for Life Week: 4-7
National Bargain Hunting Week: 4-10
Psychic Week: 4-8
Sturgis Rally: 4-10
National Hobo Week: 8-11
Gay Games: 9-16
National Scrabble Week: 9-13
Feeding Pets of the Homeless Week: 10-16 National Resurrect Romance Week: 10-16
Elvis Week: 11-17
Weird Contest Week: 11-15
Little League Baseball World Series: 14-24
National Aviation Week: 15-21
Minority Enterprise Development Week: 18-24
Lightning Whelk Week (aka Snails): 19-23 
International Chicken Wing Week: 23-25 
National Chuck Wagon Races: 23-31
National Safe at Home Week: 24-30
Be Kind To Humankind Week: 25-31
Daily
1: Braham Pie Day
1: Girlfriend’s Day
1: Lughnasa
1: National Minority Donor Awareness Day
1: Respect For Parents: 1
1: Rounds Resounding Day
1: Spider-Man Day
1: US Air Force Day
1: World Lung Cancer Day
1: World Wide Web Day
1: World Scout Scarf Day
1: International Beer Day
2: India Pale Ale Beer Day
2: National Mustard Day
3: Friendship Day
3: National Doll Day 
3: National Kids’ Day
3: Sister’s Day
3: Watermelon Day
4: Coast Guard Day
4: National Chocolate Chip Day
4: Single Working Women’s Day
4: Social Security Day
4: Assistance Dog Day
5: International Beer Day
5: National Night Out
5: National Oyster Day
5: National Underwear Day
5: Tisha B’Av
6: Hiroshima Day
6: National Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day
6: National Root Beer Float Day
7: Lighthouse Day
7: Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day
7: Professional Speakers Day
7: Purple Heart Day
8: Dalek Day)
8: International Cat Day
8: The Date to Create
8: Happiness Happens Day
8: Odie Day(Garfield’s pal)
9: National Bowling Day
8: Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night
8: Worldwide Art Day
9-10: Kool-Aid Day
9: International Day of The World’s Indigenous People
9: Veep Day
9: National Garage Sale Day
10: National Duran Duran Appreciation Day
10: Skyscraper Appreciation Day
10: Smithsonian Day
10: S’mores Day
11: Ingersoll Day
11: Presidential Joke Day
12: IBM PC Day
12: International Youth Day
12: Middle Child Day
12: Sewing Machine Day
12: Vinyl Record Day
12: World Elephant Day
13: International Lefthander’s Day
14: National Navajo Code Talkers Day
14: V-J Day
15: Best Friends Day
15: Chauvin Day
15: Check The Chip Day
15: Men’s Grooming Day
15: National Relaxation Day
16: Joe Miller’s Joke Day
16: National Airborne Day
16: International Geocaching Day
16: International Homeless Animals Day
17: God’s Preeminence Day
17: Meaning of “Is” Day
17: National Thrift Shop Day
18: Bad Poetry Day
18: Birth Control Pills Day
18: Cupcake Day
18: Mail Order Catalog Day
18: Serendipity Day
18: (World) Daffodil Day
19: Aviation Day
19:  “Black Cow” Root Beer Float Day
19: World Humanitarian Day
20: Earth Over Shoot Day or Ecological Debt Day
20: National Medical Dosimetrist Day
21: Poet’s Day
21: Senior Citizen’s Day
22: Be An Angel Day
22: Southern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day
22: Take Your Cat To The Vet Day
23: Day For The Remembrance of The Slave
23: Trade & Its Abolition
23: Hug Your Boss Day
23: Valentino Day
24: Go Topless Day
24: Pluto Demoted Day
24: Vesuvius Day
24: William Wilberforce Day
24: National Waffle Day
25: Founders Day (National Park Service)
25: Kiss and Make Up Day
25: National Second-hand Wardrobe Day
25: National Whiskey Sour Day
26: National Dog Day
26: Women’s Equality Day
27: The Duchess Who Wasn’t Day
28: Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day
28: Radio Commercials Day
28: Crackers Over The Keyboard Day
29: According to Hoyle Day
29: National College Colors Day
29: Individual Rights Day
29-31: International Bat Night
29: International Day Against Nuclear Tests: 29
29: More Herbs, Less Salt Day
29: National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day
29: National Whiskey Sour Day
30: International Whale Shark Day
30: National Holistic Pet Day
30-31: National Buffalo Chicken Wings Day
30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day
30: Franchise Appreciation Day
30: International Day of The Victims of Enforced Disappearances
31: International Overdose Awareness Day
31: Love Litigating Lawyers Day
31: Pony Express Day
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