16.02.2013 Uncategorized No Comments

Grant Writing Tip #1: Evaluation Tips

Evaluation Tips

How will you know if your project was successful? Grantmakers will look for sound data collection methods that will accurately measure the success of your program–both quantitatively and qualitatively. And, the evaluation plan should be aligned with the objectives and activities in your proposal.

The evaluation section of the Minnesota Common Grant form takes up one-third of the application, as follows:

  1. Please describe your criteria for success. What do you want to happen as a result of your activities? You may find it helpful to describe both immediate and long-term effects.
  2. How will you measure these changes?
  3. Who will be involved in evaluating this work (staff, board, constituents, community, consultants)?
  4. What will you do with your evaluation results?

If you are designing a new program, engaging a professional evaluator at the outset is recommended. This will ensure that the different parts of your grant proposal will be carefully linked together, which will make your proposal stronger. You can also include the cost of a professional evaluator in the grant.

Another way to look at the evaluation process is through the lens of a logic model, which has been used in business since the 1960s. Increasingly, federal grant opportunities require a logic model. United Way proposals require them. Logic models consist of Inputs (What your organization invests), Outputs (hard and fast numbers of what you do and who you will reach), and Outcomes (changes in knowledge, behavior, or status) in the short-term, medium-term, and long-term. Outputs let you quantify your success and outcomes let you qualify your success. Short-term outcomes are changes in knowledge of program participants. Medium-term outcomes are changes in action/behavior. Long-term outcomes are changes in conditions. Here is an example of a logic model from the University of Wisconsin Extension, http://tinyurl.com/ms2sj.

The Grotto Foundation in Minnesota recommends using the following verbs to describe outcomes: increase, decrease, improve, reduce, expand, update, upgrade, maintain, start, or complete.

In the Grant Writing Resources section of this Web site, I’ve assembled links to evaluation tools, https://greengrantwriter.com/resources-2/resources-for-grantseekers/. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook is highly recommended.











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