Giving Compass' Take:

• In this PEAK Grantmaking post, the author takes a look at final reports for grants and finds the feedback lacking in many cases. How can we do better?

• A few suggestions are to get on the same page from the start and to tailor reports to a program's needs, but mainly communication is always the main objective.

• Here's how we can fund a scaleable feedback solution for nonprofits.

It’s inevitable: at the end of every grant assessment cycle, a final report provides a record of grantee successes, challenges, and monies spent. But how often does the final report become a meaningful mechanism for further reflection or change?

When actionable data gets lost in long-form narrative or siloed into an endless assessment process, both foundations and grantees lose out on valuable opportunities to grow and learn. Take back the final report by emphasizing meaningful real-time data collection with your grantees – and gain strategic insights that drive change at every level of funding.

Here are four strategies grantmakers can use to rethink their existing reporting models, emphasize meaningful real-time data collection, and gain strategic insights:

  1. Get aligned from the start.
  2. Identify a reporting structure that fits a program’s unique needs.
  3. Encourage a productive feedback loop for continuous learning.
  4. Drive future collaborations – within the foundation and with grantee partners.

The success of every foundation’s grant program depends on staff and grantee access to high quality program evaluation and assessment. Not only does assessment paint an accurate picture of a foundation’s long-term strategic outcomes, but it also helps foundations identify and fund goals that make a broader impact on their community.

Read the full article about grant assessment and the feedback loop by Aaron Lester from PEAK Grantmaking.