Need practical how-to info that aims to help you build your evaluation capacity? This collection includes suggested readings from our friends at BetterEvaluation, the Center for Evaluation Innovation, the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations as well as hand-picked content by Candid. Thousands of actual evaluations are  available for download.

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"GenY Unfocus Group - KP Digital Health 47613" by Ted Eytan licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Reimagining Measurement: A Better Future for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

December 1, 2017

Despite marked advances in the tools and methods for monitoring, evaluation, and learning in the social sector and a burgeoning number of bright spots in practice that are emerging in the field, there is nevertheless broad dissatisfaction across the sector about how data is -- or is not -- used.Reimagining measurement has engaged the field in thinking about where monitoring, evaluation, and learning is likely to head over the next decade. Over the course of extensive research and more than 125 conversations with leading foundation executives and program staff, evaluation experts, nonprofit leaders, data wonks, and other stakeholders, it became clear that there is a real divergence between the future people expect for monitoring, evaluation, and learning, and the future people hope for.

Four Essentials for Evaluation

May 30, 2012

GEO created this guide to help grantmakers get to the next level in their evaluation efforts. The target audience is champions and supporters of evaluation who want to embed these practices more deeply in the work of their organizations.The term "evaluation" can refer to a lot of different activities, including data collection, information gathering and research about grantmaker-supported activities. GEO's emphasis, however, is on "evaluation for learning."Evaluation is about more than ensuring that grantees are doing what they promise, or that a specific program area at a foundation is meeting its goals. Rather, it's about advancing knowledge and understanding among grantmakers, their grantees and their partners about what's working, what's not and how to improve their performance over time.Using evaluation in this way requires grantmakers to transform themselves into learning organizations. Beyond getting smarter about specific evaluation methods and approaches, this means adopting a continuous process, a culture and a commitment to support the capacity of people to see patterns and insights that can lead to ever-improving results.

Guidelines and Best Practices; Must-Reads; Tools and Frameworks

A Practical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions

October 20, 2009

Outlines the value of stakeholder engagement in evaluation processes and provides step-by-step guidance on identifying stakeholders; determining their roles, priorities, and motivations; and selecting an engagement strategy. Includes planning worksheets.

Guidelines and Best Practices

Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted from Purpose: Challenges and Opportunities in Grant Application and Reporting

April 1, 2008

Are nonprofits drowning in paperwork and distracted from purpose as a result of grantmakers' application and reporting requirements? Do the same practices that grantmakers use to increase effectiveness end up over-burdening both grantmakers and grantseekers—and diminishing their effectiveness? This research report commissioned by Project Streamline addresses these questions by examining current application and reporting practices and their impact on grantmakers and grantseekers alike. In short, we found that the current system creates significant burdens on the time, energy and ultimate effectiveness of nonprofit practitioners.

How Do We Know We Are Making a Difference? A Community Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Indicators Handbook

January 1, 2005

This is a tool that measures improved policies using a form that records the changes in amount and location of alcohol advertising.

Tools and Frameworks