Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action

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Funders, Foundations, and Grantees: High Impact Investments and Collaboration through Evaluation

Session Number: NPF2
Track: Nonprofit and Foundations
Session Type: TIG Multipaper
Session Chair: Susan M. Wolfe [Community Consultant - Susan Wolfe and Associates, LLC]
Presenter 1: Tova Hettinger [Graduate Research Assistant]
Presenter 2: Caren Bacon [Project Coordinator - Washington University in St. Louis]
Presenter 3: Erin McCarthy
Presenter 4: Nina Riza Sabarre [Independent Evaluator and PhD Student - Claremont Graduate University]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Natalie McKenzie Scarpa, MSW/MPA Student [Graduate Research Assistant - University of Nebraska at Omaha-STEPs]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Jessi LaRose
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Sarah Bobmeyer [Associate Director - Brown School Evaluation Center, Washington University in St. Louis]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Casey Whalen
Presentation 4 Additional Author: Deborah L Rugg [Professor, Founder & Executive Director - Claremont Evaluation Center- New York]
Presentation 4 Additional Author: Jane Reisman [Social Impact Advisor - Jane Reisman Ph.D.]
Presentation 4 Additional Author: Heather Grady
Time: Nov 09, 2017 (03:15 PM - 04:15 PM)
Room: Roosevelt 1

Abstract 1 Title: Bridging the Gap: Assessing Funders’ Understanding and Expectations of Program Evaluation
Presentation Abstract 1:

Nonprofit organizations offer much needed services and programming to people in vulnerable situations. These client-focused agencies are also charged with the task of evaluating client progress and reporting results back to their funding bodies. However, there is currently a gap in knowledge between what funders expect from evaluation and how nonprofits should be engaging in the evaluation process. Support and Training for the Evaluation of Programs (STEPs) conducted interviews with key funders in the Omaha, Nebraska area. This paper will discuss the need, methodology, and results of this research. Session participants will learn about the expectations and understanding that funders have of nonprofit fundees, in hopes of bridging the gap between the two groups. The results of this research could inform more effective and relevant evaluation constructs for both nonprofits and funders.


Abstract 2 Title: Strategies for increasing grantee buy-in for evaluation activities: Working across the funder and external evaluator to integrate the evaluation approach into grantees’ daily activities
Presentation Abstract 2:

This session will present strategies utilized by a Foundation-funded evaluation to increase grantee buy-in for participating in the funding strategy’s evaluation activities. We will discuss the strategies used to establish the expectation for participation in and develop buy-in for the evaluation among the grantees. They include such activities as involving grantees in the design of data collection tools, timely dissemination of data, and training on how to use their data in program planning efforts. These lessons were learned while conducting the external evaluation of Missouri Foundation for Health’s Expanding Coverage Initiative (ECI). The evaluation activities required of grantees were significantly larger in scope compared to other funding sources on the same topic. Grantees were required to collect and submit data on three different topic areas at three different time points: monthly, weekly, and after each counseling session. Despite the scope, grantees have been very engaged in the evaluation.


Presentation 2 Other Authors: Michelle Hasan
Abstract 3 Title: Lessons Learnt from CIFF’s fit-for-purpose approach to evaluation
Presentation Abstract 3:

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is a private philanthropy that invests with partners in programmes to improve the lives of children and adolescents and to slowdown and stop climate change. CIFF seeks to solve problems, not just make grants. Data is at the core of CIFF’s investments. We believe that without quality evidence, we won’t understand what works to maximise the potential impact of our investments for children and for climate.  CIFF invests in independent evaluations that work concurrently with the implementation programmes that CIFF supports. We also ensure that CIFF-supported implementation programmes have robust monitoring systems, and that monitoring and evaluation are used together to support implementers and to generate data for decision making, including course-correction with implementation partners where necessary. Evaluation findings are used both for learning and for accountability purposes.


Presentation 3 Other Authors: Anna Hakobyan, Steven Chapman, Megan Kennedy-Chouane, Erin McCarthy, Sasha Zoueva
Abstract 4 Title: Crossing Sectors: Building an M&E Framework for the SDG Philanthropy Platform
Presentation Abstract 4:

The SDG Philanthropy Platform is a global initiative to enable collaboration between philanthropies and national governments in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Policy-makers and global leaders recognize that the SDGs, such as ending poverty, achieving gender equality, and taking climate action, are so multidimensional and interconnected that they require the mobilization of every sector, including governments, philanthropic foundations, businesses, and civil society.  The SDG Philanthropy Platform was established to foster strong partnerships, bridge the gap across sectors, increase the voice of philanthropy in national government plans, and shift the philanthropic mindset towards a more inclusive approach.  Although the Platform expanded its efforts, increased its profile, and achieved a number of successes in 2016, there was no systematic and comprehensive evaluation of its activities.  Claremont Evaluation Center – New York (CEC-NY) worked with stakeholders to develop a Monitoring & Evaluation framework that can be adaptive, responsive, and useful across sectors.  The authors of this paper will share the impact pathways (i.e. linkages between inputs, outputs, outcomes, and impact) and indicators developed for the M&E framework, as well as discuss lessons learned from their cross-sector approach.


Presentation 4 Other Authors: Karolina Mzyk
Theme: Learning What Works and Why
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Funders, Foundations, and Grantees: High Impact Investments and Collaboration through Evaluation



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