What’s the point of evaluation? Isn’t it a waste of time and resources? No. It’s not. In fact, it’s the best money your organization could spend in years.
You could conduct an evaluation for the first time and find out that your literacy program is not improving literacy at all. You could conduct an evaluation and discover that the most expensive part of your program is making the smallest impact. You could conduct an evaluation and find out that the event staff hate putting on is the event donors love to attend most.
Evaluation typically happens because either 1) A funder requires it (most common) or 2) The organization decides it’s important.
Why does an organization decide it is important? Organization’s decide to start using evaluation for a variety of different reasons. Evaluation allows an organization to be a good steward of the resources available to pursue organizational goals.
Why do funders care about evaluation? Increasingly funders are requiring evaluation (and even allocating parts of grants for it) because they need to be responsible stewards of the money they have. They want it to have the largest impact possible. Particularly in light of the great demand for funding and the lack of resources available to match the demand.
Photo Credit: David Yu