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Verbose, intense and direct, Mr. Butz does not mince words. He said he is “extremely popular” with “organizations that do care about change.” Not so when “you get to organizations that are not performing so well. He said several nonprofits got out of business when his software showed them they weren’t having much impact.

Mr. Butz began his career as a caseworker at Baltimore’s Living Classrooms Foundation, helping at-risk youth. While he found the work rewarding, he was “frustrated that there were no tools to demonstrate how this work was helping the kids.”

However, his experience and instincts told him that it was important to keep the children motivated about their progress and to help the organization continue to secure funding.

The first phase of his “mission” was to help organizations become more focused and accountable; the next phase is to help donors become more informed about their giving.

“That’s exactly what the NCRP report is guilty of - encouraging organizations to make donations based on insufficient information,” Mr. Butz said.

But how do you quantify results? How to measure human growth and development on a spreadsheet?

“You start with the intangible, such as a relationship, and there are a myriad of other things that can be measured and should be,” he said. “The idea that it’s hard to measure outcomes doesn’t work with me.”

Mr. Butz said Social Solutions’ ETO software system saves time because the database can code services, compile information and retrieve it instantaneously, rather than the traditional “paper and pencil” method in which social service workers keep case notes that they then “have to dig back through” when asked for information about performance.

“The data was on paper and that was the problem,” he said. “I’m shooting for how to do this work quickly and more efficiently.”

An online demonstration of how the user-friendly software ( tracks outcomes for participants enrolled in an after-school program aimed at getting male students interested in attending college shows how much faster, easier and more efficient it might be to determine whether they are attending the sessions, how long, with or without parents, and if they have applied or been accepted to college or showed no interest. With a few clicks of the mouse, the organizations should be able to demonstrate the impact of their efforts.

When he was first assigned to work with the literacy group as an honors student at Loyola College of Baltimore, Mr. Butz recalled, “I said I have found my calling, and I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

The 39-year-old Baltimore-area native seemed destined to become a social service worker. Mr. Butz’s mother, Veronica, instilled in her five children the value of helping others. She chose to become a mother rather than pursue her dream of becoming a Peace Corps worker, he said, but she always led the family to get involved in charitable activities.

When Mrs. Butz died of breast cancer three years ago, her son established the Superstar Foundation, which donates $200,000 Veronica Awards in her honor to three high-performing direct social service programs. “That feels pretty good,” he said.

Still, the married father of three hankers for his first love - working hands-on with young people.

“I intend to get back to direct service staff. I don’t intend to run an organization. I don’t intend to write grants. I want to work with kids like I did 10 years ago.”