How Grantmakers Can Support Non-Profits to Evaluate, Learn and Improve

What sets apart nonprofits that are making a real difference in their communities from those that always seem to be struggling? Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) demonstrates that effective monitoring and evaluation work is the answer; more and more high-performing organizations seek and use data and feedback to continually assess and improve their work. GEO argues that when such efforts are effective, grantmakers often embrace a supportive role in helping grantees make effective use of evaluative information. GEO provides the following set of tips for how grantmakers can support non-profits to learn, improve, and expand their impact:

  1. Grantmakers committed to growing impact recognize the need for a shift in thinking about their role in, and approach to, evaluation. Indeed, in recent years there has been a shift away from thinking of evaluation as predominately a means for accountability and toward evaluation as tool to increase learning and strengthen nonprofit programs, advocacy efforts and organizational effectiveness.
  2. Grantmakers can play a unique role in supporting the evaluation capacity-building process (i.e. grantmakers can act as an active, ongoing sounding board; working early on with grantees to link program goals to evaluation questions; and then linking what is being learned throughout the evaluation to scaling impact). To begin, grantmakers must be aware of non-profits capacity building needs.
  3. Grantmakers can build trusting relationships and open communication with grantees. They can actively build the trust, transparency, and opportunity for planning and reflection necessary for useful learning to take place.

To read the full article provided by GEO on this topic, click here.

Questions or comments? Please contact [email protected]

Elayne Vlahaki, MPH
Program Manager
BC HIV/HCV Evaluation Advisory Group