Evaluation is Not a Dirty Word: Demystifying Tools for Small Non-Profits

When the Federation became a part of the Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund, we knew that our first priority was to provide our grantees with the training to apply for foundation grants to grow their capacity.

Panel Group discussion with projection slide behind them

From left: Kevin Ryan, Shao-Chee Sim,Yancy Rubén Garrido, Cecelia Tanaka, and Patricia Eng.

On April 21, 2015, we had 20 organizations attend our panel on Understanding Foundation Evaluation to introduce small non-profits serving communities of color to the kind of evaluation tools that foundations are looking for in competitive proposals. Here were some key takeaways:

  • “Evaluation” is not a dirty word; it can help you to achieve the desired outcomes
  • Use logic models to create a road map for your program
  • Use your data to understand what works and what doesn’t in a program – and improve your program based on that knowledge
  • Funders and grantees need to build a relationship of trust in order to make programs work
  • While it takes time, evaluation needs to become a part of an organization’s culture

Thank you to our moderator and panelists for an informative panel discussion: moderator Patricia Eng, Vice President of Programs at New York Women's Foundation; Yancy Rubén Garrido, Senior Program Officer at Clark Foundation; Kevin Ryan, Program Director at New York Foundation; Shao-Chee Sim, Chief Strategy Officer at Charles B. Wang Community Health Center; and Cecelia Tanaka, VP-Relationship Manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co.