What is Giving Compass?
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Giving Compass' Take:
• Foundation evaluations need to improve within the sector, and below are four strategies that may help foundations better evaluate in the future.
• How can individual donors re-evaluate their charitable efforts utilizing some of these strategies?
There’s a longstanding tension about the role of evaluation in foundations.
While there’s been a great deal of discussion about the need to document the results of foundation grantmaking, there is actually not a great deal of evidence that evaluation is being used in meaningful ways.
Foundations typically contract with external evaluators to actually carry out the evaluation work. Over the past two years, a group of evaluation consultants and foundation staff who lead evaluations have been meeting to identify ways to develop a more diverse cadre of evaluators to work with foundations. The Funders and Evaluators Affinity Network (FEAN) has noted that there is a general lack of understanding among evaluators about how to work with foundations.
So, how can foundation evaluation be improved?
- Invest in getting more and more diverse evaluators familiar with how foundations work.
- Reframe evaluation as a management tool.
- Have internal conversations about your culture and how evaluation fits into it.
- Spend time up-front on the difficult conversations about what it is you are evaluating – and why.
Read the full article about foundation evaluations by Teri Behrens at PEAK Grantmaking.