Effective Communities Project (ECP) has worked with nonprofit organizations, activists, and grantmaking foundations throughout the United States and Central Europe to enable them to achieve greater progress toward their missions.

Currently ECP (also known as Steven E. Mayer, Ph.D.) is on a teaching mission, and this website is one of its leading products.

My projects at ECP and the ones I led during my 23-year tenure at Rainbow Research as the founding Executive Director can be described with these clusters, based on content, method, institutions, and locale:

  • the gamut of civic, public, and philanthropic organizations – foundations, nonprofit organizations, grassroots groups, associations, networks, and systems;
  • topical themes like neighborhood and community development, the practice of philanthropy, youth leadership and school reform, social and racial justice, arts and culture, advocacy, human services, institutional development, and nonprofit organizational effectiveness;
  • practices of evaluation in support of organizational and mission effectiveness, pioneering the lessons learned, promising practices, appreciative inquiry, developmental approaches to evaluation, and connecting the goals of advocacy to the purposes of evaluation;
  • strategies for gathering evidence, for deconstructing and measuring soft subjects like racial equity, social justice, philanthropic intent; developing useful metrics, communicating progress,  using the results of evaluation inquiries, stalking the wild outcome, etc.
  • variety of products / media produced web sites, written reports, magazines, metrics, self-assessment tools, curricula, frameworks, protocols, conferences, and op-ed pieces;
  • programs (and evaluation) operating in a neighborhood, a city, a region, a state, a nation – singly and in multiples;
  • embeds in organizational processes like planning with multi-organizational and internal teams, the development of operational action plans, staff retreats and trainings, and organizational learning communities;
  • …among other things.