Resources

  • publication May 2017

    Systems Change Evaluation Forum

    Complex systems change efforts create practical challenges for evaluation. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation convened their full staff and a group of external evaluators who work in philanthropy for a Systems Change Evaluation Forum. This report provides observations, tools, approaches, and advice for addressing systems evaluation challenges.

    By Tanya Beer

    Systems Change Evaluation Forum
  • 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.

    Strategy Behind the Design of Advocacy Communications Support
  • publication Nov 2016

    How Do You Measure Up? Finding Fit Between Foundations and Their Evaluation Functions

    Foundations need to think carefully about how the structure, position, focus, resources, and practices of their evaluation functions can best fit their own needs and aspirations. This Foundation Review article, based on 2015 benchmarking research, poses questions foundations can ask to assess what they need from an evaluation function, and common areas of misalignment between needs and approaches.

    By Julia Coffman, Tanya Beer

    How Do You Measure Up? Finding Fit Between Foundations and Their Evaluation Functions
  • 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.

    No More Half Measures
  • publication May 2016

    Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices: 2015 Benchmarking Data

    The result of a partnership between the Center for Effective Philanthropy and Center for Evaluation Innovation, this report offers a comprehensive look at foundation evaluation practices, based on 2015 survey data from 127 senior evaluation and program staff at foundations. 

    By Julia Coffman, Tanya Beer

    Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices: 2015 Benchmarking Data
  • insight Apr 2016

    Oh for the Love of Sticky Notes! The Changing Role of Evaluators Who Work with Foundations

    Julia Coffman, founder of the Center for Evaluation Innovation, illustrates evaluators’ changing roles in the context of her own experiences as a long-time evaluator in philanthropy. This article published on Medium examines the history of evaluation in philanthropy, and the implications of role changes for evaluator skills, expertise, and boundaries.

    By Julia Coffman

    Oh for the Love of Sticky Notes! The Changing Role of Evaluators Who Work with Foundations
  • publication Apr 2016

    Measuring Political Will: Lessons from Modifying the Policymaker Ratings Method

    Advocates often seek to move political will as a way to build champions who will drive their issue through the policy process. This brief shares three scenarios where a method for measuring political will was modified. It offers lessons about the tool, the process, and the kinds of products that can be created.

    Measuring Political Will: Lessons from Modifying the Policymaker Ratings Method
  • publication Jan 2016

    The Shaping of Evaluation at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

    This teaching case tells the story of the evolution of the evaluation function at the Hewlett Foundation from 2000 to 2015. It is as much the story of how one foundation’s culture shaped that evolution as it is how key leaders influenced the use of evaluation.

    The Shaping of Evaluation at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • publication Jul 2015

    Strategy Design Amid Complexity: Tools for Designing and Implementing Adaptive Funding Strategies

    Foundations need processes and tools to create and implement adaptive strategies while also addressing the core dilemmas these strategies create. This Foundation Review article offers tools to help foundations design adaptive strategies, and ideas for balancing accountability with adaptability. 

    By Tanya Beer

    Strategy Design Amid Complexity: Tools for Designing and Implementing Adaptive Funding Strategies
  • publication Jul 2015

    Network Evaluation in Practice: Approaches and Applications

    What are success factors in building a network? What should funders support when they design network grants? How can network builders and funders tell how well a network is doing? This Foundation Review article offers a three-pillar framework for evaluating networks focused on network connectivity, health, and results. 

    By Julia Coffman

    Network Evaluation in Practice: Approaches and Applications
  • publication Mar 2015

    The Advocacy Strategy Framework

    Our most downloaded resource, this brief offers a simple one-page tool for thinking about the theories of change that underlie public policy advocacy strategies. It also offers six questions that advocates, and funders working with advocates, can work through to better articulate their theories of change.

    By Julia Coffman, Tanya Beer

    The Advocacy Strategy Framework
  • publication Mar 2015

    Four Tools for Assessing Grantee Contribution to Advocacy Efforts

    Advocacy takes place in a complex and crowded political environment with many organizations trying to move policy on the same issue at the same time. This brief offers four tools that funders can use to get a better handle on a grantee’s contribution to an advocacy effort. 

    By Julia Coffman, Tanya Beer

    Four Tools for Assessing Grantee Contribution to Advocacy Efforts