Most foundation and nonprofit communicators can speak at length about the work they do and what it's intended to achieve. But when it comes to describing exactly what their efforts are achieving, few can offer specifics.
This guide helps foundation and nonprofit communicators learn whether their communications are effective and what is being achieved -- and determine if any course corrections are necessary.
Among the reasons stressed for evaluating communication efforts are these:
- Evaluation improves the effectiveness of communications.
- Evaluation can help organizations more effectively engage with intended audiences.
- Situations change - strategies and tactics may need to change as well.
- Evaluation ensures wise allocation of resources.
The guide points out that evaluation need not be limited to large-scale campaigns or major outreach activities, but should also conducted for efforts to raise awareness of an organization or an issue. And once an evaluation is underway, the guide suggests findings be shared with those who may benefit from what is learned, such as team members, the board, colleagues and peers.
The guide includes:
- Background on why evaluation can contribute to good communications.
- Four case studies of evaluation in action from the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Neimand Collaborative, and the California HealthCare Foundation.
- A worksheet for creating an evaluation plan.