Track: Thriving and Vibrant Nonprofit Sector
Commitment: Measuring that Matters
North Star: Commitment to Outcomes

Format: Project-Based
Level of Learning: Learner

While performance excellence initiatives in the nonprofit sector go by many names (performance and quality improvement; continuous quality improvement; quality assurance; compliance, data, and research, etc.), it always represents an organizational investment in outcomes and capacity. This workshop will establish the true value of this type of investment, exploring the broad scope of performance excellence work and its power to drive sustainable funding, service innovation, evidence-informed practice, and meaningful and impactful data in a demanding outcomes-based landscape. 

Leaders from the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ Performance Excellence Alliance Peer Exchange Group Core Team will give an overview of two key initiatives from the report, A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America, and will collaborate with attendees in groups to apply a solutions-driven performance excellence lens to these challenges.

This workshop will allow participants to work through hands-on scenarios and collect toolkits related to research-driven outcomes, integrated dashboard design, proactive quality management, accreditation management, data-driven business planning, outcomes-based financing, and technology utilization. The diverse experiences of the presenters allow for constructive dialogue for organizations of various sizes and missions. Each participant will gain a deeper understanding of how performance excellence can play a role in their organization and will leave with tools that assist in moving beyond traditional compliance-based approaches to quality.

Learning Objectives

  • Specific ways in which investments in performance excellence teams and activities align with the recommendations in the recently released report, A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America, particularly the commitment to outcomes and an increased capacity for innovation
  • How performance excellence as more than compliance; its role in strategic planning, business planning, finance, high-impact service delivery, and technology
  • Hands-on performance excellence applications that address common challenges facing human service organizations


  • Jed Dews, executive director, Pendleton Place (@PendletonPlace)
  • Janet Braker, director of performance excellence, Cornerstones of Care (@OurCornerstones)
  • Toral Sanghavi, senior director for process management and analytics, The Village for Families & Children (@thevillage)
  • Pauline Tan, director of research, Aviva Family and Children's Services
  • Erin Wiswell, compliance manager, Ascentria Care Alliance

Jed Dews
Executive Director
Pendleton Place

Jed Dews is the executive director of Pendleton Place, a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping children safe and supporting families in crisis through prevention, assessment, and intervention. Dews provides strategic support for day to day administration and operations of the organization's innovative child and family services as well as oversight for its quality improvement and technology initiatives. Before discovering his passion for nonprofit child welfare, Dews worked as a high school language arts teacher, a project manager for prominent e-learning companies, and a freelance consultant for nonprofit accreditation seekers and foster care reform advocates. When not working, Dews’ favorite things include being an uncle, dueling piano bars, and vintage bow ties.

Janet Braker
Director of Performance Excellence
Cornerstones of Care

Janet Braker is the Director of Performance Excellence for Cornerstones of Care, a nonprofit organization which provides trauma-informed care to children and families to help them achieve health, happiness, confidence, competence and self-sufficiency. Braker has over 22 years of experience working in the public and private child welfare community. Braker oversees the performance improvement processes for all Cornerstones of Care programs which includes developing and supporting evaluative and change management processes aimed at improving the overall quality of services being delivered; provides oversight of tracking compliance with contracts and accrediting bodies including Council on Accreditation, Healthy Families America, and HIPAA. She also has oversight of risk management issues and insurance activities.

Toral Sanghavi
Senior Director for Process Management and Analytics
The Village for Families & Children

Toral Sanghavi has worked at the Village for 11 years and has been in the field for more than 17 years. Sanghavi manages process management and analytics department at the Village. In her role, she has the advantage of working with more than 25 programs at the agency. In her effort to train management on data driven decision making, she has led numerous efforts such as interactive dashboards, leadership training, and standardizing processes.

Pauline Tan
Director of Research
Aviva Family and Children's Services

Pauline Tan has worked in the field of child abuse and neglect prevention for over 5 years. She earned her Master of Public Health degree from California State Northridge. Ms. Tan has been involved with numerous collaborative efforts across Los Angeles County to reduce child maltreatment. She has provided support to University of Southern California’s exploratory research on the efficacy of intervention programs and children’s outcomes. Ms. Tan has presented her research findings around child maltreatment at national conferences. Currently, Ms. Tan is the Director of Research at Aviva Family and Children’s Services and works with her team to develop feedback loops via client outcomes to inform clinicians about their work. The research team is also responsible for providing the executive cabinet with programmatic data indicating performance to inform agency decisions.

Erin Wiswell
Compliance Manager
Ascentria Care Alliance

Erin is a recent graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work’s Master of Science program concentrating in Policy and Analysis where she interned with the Center for the Study of Social Policy. After performing quality improvement work for a child and family services organization in New York, Erin joined the Ascentria Care Alliance team as their Compliance Manager. Erin works alongside her team to help programs develop policies and standard operating procedures, develop and track program specific output and outcomes measurements, and provide oversight for compliance with contracts and accreditation from the Council on Accreditation.