Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass

Boston Centers for Youth and Families

Director of Capacity Building and Impact

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Ellen Bass launched and directs the Capacity Institute, which helps nonprofits build their performance management systems over two-years. This process teaches a nonprofit to use data to improve its operations, so that its participants increasingly achieve meaningful, sustained outcomes, as a measure of mission attainment. After building their system in year one, agencies begin to institutionalize needed culture change to use the system in year two. For twenty years, Ellen has taught and coached staff from more than three hundred community programs how to use logic models and outcome measurement to strengthen participant outcomes, programs, staff, strategy, partnerships, and fundraising.

Ellen also founded and leads the Nonprofit Performance Management Consultant Network, to improve the effectiveness of human service nonprofits nationally by engaging consultants, nonprofits and funders to invest in performance management practices. In an effort to learn about and advance nonprofit performance management at a national scale, Ellen engages groups in dialogue and training on related topics. She serves on the Board of Directors of Idealware, which helps nonprofits make smart technology decisions.

Previously, Ellen founded and led the Boston Capacity Tank at the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, where she raised and redistributed more than $10 million in grants and capacity-building services to nonprofit youth agencies in Boston. The Tank also measured capacity-building outcomes from its workshops, consultancies, and grants. With an MBA in public and nonprofit management, Ellen has served in resource development for twenty years and in program development for thirty-five years, in both secular and faith-based organizations that serve youth in the Boston community.

Ellen and her husband Jeff live in Boston; they have two grown sons. She loves coaching young women leaders, helping her church grow in discipleship and racial equity, bike commuting, cooking, and hot weather.

The Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community is a private community of experts and leaders who believe that mission and performance are inextricably linked. Our resources are collaboratively developed and offered to the field to support organizations on their journeys to high performance.

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