Evaluation & Learning: Common Philanthropic Activities
The final stage of the standard grant cycle is evaluation and learning. In this step, a foundation designs its approach to monitoring, evaluation and learning; implements its approach; and synthesizes lessons both to improve its own performance and adjust its grantmaking strategy. Ideally, it shares what it is learning with its grantees and the broader field.
QUESTIONS FOR THE JUSTICE FUNDER:
- Are the requests and requirements for monitoring, evaluation and reporting in line with the grant size?
- How can I balance the need to demonstrate impact with the long-term and unpredictable nature of systems change? Am I limiting my grantmaking and assessment protocols by what can be more easily measured?
- How can the foundation’s monitoring, assessment and documentation processes best advance my grantees’ and my foundations’ learning? What common values motivate us?
- How can I use evaluation and knowledge-building processes to transform practices within the wider field of philanthropy?
Using foundation resources to support organizations in building capacity for evaluation, documentation and knowledge sharing
Shifting emphasis and burden of evaluation to the funder; inviting grantees to evaluate the funder, rather than vice-versa