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publication Mar 2021
Tools and Tips for Implementing Contribution Analysis
Get practical lessons on applying contribution analysis to advocacy impact evaluations, especially when dealing with time and resource constraints. Contribution analysis does not seek to "prove" the role of a particular actor or set of actors in bringing about change, but instead to develop a plausible, credible evidence-based narrative to answer causal questions about their influence.
event Dec 2020
American Evaluation Association (2020)
CEI staff presented at the virtual American Evaluation Association conference in October 2020.
publication Jun 2019
When the Best Offense is a Good Defense: Understanding and Measuring Advocacy on the Defense
With advocacy, a “win” can mean avoiding a disadvantageous policy or holding the line on past wins. This brief covers how advocates conceptualize five different types of defense, and how to think about defense-specific outcomes, impact, and evaluation.
insight Jun 2019
It’s Time to Evaluate 501(c)(4) Activities
Advocacy evaluators need to reckon with evaluating 501(c)(4) tactics, otherwise we will find ourselves unable to speak meaningfully to the progress and setbacks our clients experience.
publication Dec 2017
Evaluating Coalitions and Networks: Frameworks, Needs, and Opportunities
An impressive array of approaches, frameworks, and tools have been developed to evaluate coalitions and networks. This brief critically examines these resources, and points to challenges and opportunities that remain in efforts to assess their effectiveness and impact.
publication Nov 2017
Contribution Analysis in Policy Work: Assessing Advocacy’s Influence
How do we know what difference advocacy really makes? This brief explores the methodological application of contribution analysis, a non-experimental impact evaluation method, to advocacy and offers guidance for evaluators considering this approach.
publication May 2017
Strategy Behind the Design of Advocacy Communications Support
Foundations that fund advocacy understand the critical role communications play in policy change efforts. How can foundations best support grantees’ advocacy communications? This brief offers lessons based on the experiences of advocacy grantmaking initiatives.
publication Feb 2017
Considering Starting a 501(c)4? Case Studies
Thinking about starting a 501(c)(4) to enable a wide range of advocacy activities, including electoral advocacy? Learn from those who've already done it.
insight Feb 2017
Making Collaborative Advocacy Work
For many foundations, collaboration is key to advocating for policy and practice change. But these kinds of partnerships can be challenging to execute well. This collection from GrantCraft and IssueLab brings together dozens of reports and reflection pieces about multi-party advocacy efforts; providing valuable perspective on both the sticking points and how we might move through them.
publication Oct 2016
501(c)(4) Strategy and Discussion Guide
This guide is for individuals, organizations, and funders interested in starting 501(c)(4) organizations. It discusses the strategic questions that must be considered in determining whether, when, and for what purpose(s) to create a 501(c)(4).
publication Oct 2016
Primer on Social Welfare Organizations: Using 501(c)(4) Organizations for Good
The primer covers the big questions that advocates and funders ask, including how 501(c)(4)s are unique, what kinds of activities they can undertake, who donates to them, and what rules govern donor disclosure. Brief descriptions of real-world examples help illustrate how (c)(4)s have played key roles in advancing causes such as marriage equality and immigration reform.
publication Oct 2016
No More Half Measures
Funders can get better at designing grantmaking strategies that meet the dual demands of advocacy capacity needs and the realities of the policy and political landscape. This brief explores how funders can support policy campaigns while also building advocacy capacity, instead of just picking one approach or the other.