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Making Data and Evaluation Work for Foundations and Nonprofits

This blogpost compares evaluation capacity within funding and nonprofit organizations. It suggests three things foundations (and nonprofits) can do to improve their ability to get more from evaluation: Ask grantees about their evaluation capacity; Consider data quality; and Support data and evaluation.  





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Evaluation Capacity & Evaluative Thinking in Organizations

This monograph details and summarizes the work of more than 150 partners in Rochester, New York who studied and learned together about participatory program evaluation, evaluation capacity building and evaluative thinking.





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Building Evaluation Capacity

Evaluation is a process that applies systematic inquiry to program management, improvement, and decision making. Evaluation is also used to assess the status or progress of a strategy (i.e., a group of meaningfully connected programs, not just the simple aggregation of multiple programs) or an initiative (a grouping of strategies). Evaluation Capacity is the ability of staff and their organizations to do evaluation. Because evaluation is systematic, it involves proficiency in a particular set of skills.







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Benchmarking Evaluation in Foundations: Do We Know What We Are Doing?

Evaluation in philanthropy – with staff assigned to evaluation-related responsibilities – began in the 1970s and has evolved, along with philanthropy, in the four decades since. What has not changed, however, is a regular questioning of what foundations are doing on evaluation, especially since the world of philanthropy regularly shifts, and changes in evaluation resourcing and positioning tend to soon follow. This article presents new findings about what foundations are doing on evaluation and discusses their implications. It is based on 2012 research that benchmarks the positioning, resourcing, and function of evaluation in foundations, and follows up on a 2009 Read more





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PowerCheck: Community Organizing Capacity Tool

Community organizing can be a complex process. To be successful, it’s important to prepare for success by understanding an organization’s readiness to engage and empower constituents. PowerCheck can help organizers – from beginners to the most sophisticated –better prepare for catalyzing community organizing efforts. In one hour or less, an organization can answer questions online about skills, expertise, gaps, and the resources available to successfully engage in community organizing work. PowerCheck generates immediate results, letting organizations and coalitions know where and how to focus resources and what types of partnerships to seek out to help build a plan to move Read more