Evaluation involves measuring the effectiveness of projects and programs for the purpose of continuous improvement. Wanting to be good stewards of our funding and other resources, the Foundation places a high value on achieving outcomes and on nonprofits who cultivate a culture of learning in their organizations.
PROSPECTIVE APPLICANTS: The following steps are provided to help applicants understand the Foundation’s approach to evaluation before submitting an inquiry and to prepare organizations for our evaluation requirements.
Successful applicants will -
- HAVE A ROAD MAP: Interested nonprofits should have a clear sense about what results they expect to see at the end of their project and how they are going to get there. This “road map” is called a logic model. Organizations are encouraged to develop one before starting the application process. If you are new to this idea, see TOOLS & RESOURCES below for help.
- KNOW THE FOUNDATION: Applicants should be able to clearly explain how their projects will align with and drive our desired results. See our Community Impact logic models here: EARLY LEARNING, HEALTHY EATING & ACTIVE LIVING, and CHRIST-CENTERED LIVING.
- BE OUR DATA PARTNER: With guidance and technical assistance provided by the Foundation, grantees will be expected to track outcomes as agreed upon with their Program Officer and to periodically through our online Outcomes Database.
- LEARN TO IMPROVE: Throughout the grant period there will be opportunities to learn for continuous improvement. The most successful applicants are those who are just as interested in learning to accomplish mutual community goals as they are in receiving grant dollars.
TOOLS AND RESOURCES:
- About our Learning Framework - Overview of our approach to using evaluation for learning and improvement.
- Basic Guide to Program Evaluation – Helpful tips for planning, carrying out, analyzing, and reporting evaluation results.
- Evaluation Planning Guide – Planning tool specifically designed for those new to evaluation.
- Innovation Network – Lots of free tools and resources to help nonprofits build logic models and plan evaluations.
- Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact – Assessment tools and resources provided by the Foundation Center.
Please email the Foundation’s Program & Learning Officer, or call 812.437.8260 with questions.