evaluation

The Power of Taking Stock: 5 Reasons to Conduct Evaluations

Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, but I am not sure many foundations fully believe that. In the course of working with foundations across the country, I have made a somewhat surprising discovery: Many foundations grossly underestimate the importance of evaluating impact. This is unfortunate, because evaluation is both enlightening and empowering. In fact, …

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Special Ops: 5 Situations for Deploying a Red Team

We all need friends and colleagues who have our backs. But maybe we need something else, too. Maybe we need someone who can think like the enemy. The CIA calls it the “Red Team.” The military, the Federal Aviation Administration, and major corporations like IBM also use the term to refer to a group designed …

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3 Reasons to Evaluate Your Grantmaking

Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, but I am not sure many foundations fully believe that. In the course of working with foundations across the country, I have made a somewhat surprising discovery: Many foundations grossly underestimate the importance of evaluating impact. This is unfortunate, because evaluation is both enlightening and empowering. In fact, …

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Oops, I Forgot to Evaluate! 3 Easy Steps for Retrospectively Evaluating Your Funding Initiative

It’s year five of your five-year funding initiative, and you need to report progress to your board. You’re thinking, “Darn, I wish I had included evaluation planning when we developed this initiative. Now I’d have a better way to show our results.” Sound familiar? Don’t worry; you aren’t alone. Many funders don’t fund or even …

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3 Questions To Ask When Evaluating Your Grantmaking Initiative

If your foundation is developing a new grantmaking program or initiative, it’s critical to concurrently develop plans for how you will evaluate success. But before jumping into methodologies and measurements, think about these three questions: What you want to know? Who needs to know it? and How will the findings  be used?  This will help …

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6 Mistakes Philanthropists Make During a Crisis (And What They Can Do Instead)

Don’t let delusional altruism hinder your impact! Learn valuable tips to improve your giving during tumultuous times.