Around the Institute

FPTDSAGTHOOTW as a battle cry

March 27, 2015  • David Devlin-Foltz

Clarity and Brilliance

Want innovative advocacy evaluation ideas? Want them centralized in one place? Maybe try the Center for Evaluation Innovation? Yup. Julia Coffman and Tanya Beer have just published two more splendid contributions to the field: this new brief explains and expands on Julia’s Advocacy Strategy Framework. And this new suite of tools helps grantmakers and advocates analyze potential and real contributions to advocacy outcomes.



Here’s a powerful, funny, and well-informed cautionary rant about capacity building in the nonprofit sector from the masters of smart snark at This blogpost mocks and mourns and praises in good measure. That lovely acronym? FPTDSAGTHOOTW stands for Fund People To Do Stuff And Get The Hell Out Of Their Way. More pointedly: “Capacity is actively prevented by restricted funds, pressure on nonprofits to keep overhead low, single-year one-time grants, unnecessary and burdensome reporting requirements, and the endless and annoying focus on ‘sustainability.’” Preach.   


Logic Models for Pretty Good Strategic Planning?

Well kids, I know we’re all sad that logic models week on the AEA365 blog is coming to an end (and without a parade or nuthin’), but not without some moments to remember. We recall fondly this smart counsel from the CDC’s Tom Chapel on using “Logic Models as a Strategic Planning Tool.”  He advocates keeping everybody a bit saner by quitting your “arrow-smithing” when you have 85% agreement. And he’s on the lookout for the “killer assumptions” which – if false – could undermine the whole program. A bit like the “pre-mortem” that Harvard Biz School praises, and Tanya and Julia recommend back in item #1. See what we did there? Semi-coherent blogging from your APEP pals.