Right-Sizing Evaluation

September 28th, 2012

With the growth of the foundation evaluation sector, evaluation has evolved from a measure of the outcomes of individual grants into a process with the potential to improve programs, strengthen funder-grantee communications, and inform a funder’s broader philanthropic strategy.

 In “Who’s Behind the Evaluation Curtain?,” Caroline Preston examines how foundations are adjusting their approaches to evaluation.  She cautions against evaluation processes that create unnecessary busy-work and leave grantees in the dark as to how the information will inform foundation decisions.  Rather, evaluations should serve as “check-ups,” aimed at identifying needed mid-course corrections and providing funders with an opportunity to ensure grantees are on the right track.

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