The exciting news of receiving a grant can also come with myriad questions about how to evaluate and report on the success of your grant.
- What does a Foundation look for in a final report?
- What should I include?
- How often should I check in with my program manager?
- How do I source funding when this grant ends?
At The Ian Potter Foundation, we are committed to assisting our grantees and fostering excellence throughout the grant life cycle.
As part of this commitment, we invited grantees to attend a workshop on evaluation. The half-day workshop was held on a Thursday in September from 1-4pm with 11 grantees attending at the Foundation. The workshop was facilitated by our Research and Evaluation Officer Dr Squirrel Main along with Dr Alberto Furlan, Ms Nicole McLeod and Ms Sara Hearn co-facilitating various sections.
The purpose of the workshop was to review the grantees’ KPIs and outcomes and generate specific strategies for measuring their outputs and outcomes for the project funded by The Ian Potter Foundation or the Alec Prentice Sewell Gift. This type of workshop is the first of its kind in Australia, the idea originating from a conversation with program managers at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
The agenda included formal presentations as well as opportunities for the grantees to work through their goals in pairs. Specifically, we covered ‘Hot Tips’ from previous grantees, how to review a project's KPIs and long-term outcomes (in program area groups), as well as strategies for down-the-track leverage, sustainability and dissemination. Our Digital Communications Officer, Sara Hearn, hosted an optional session on the basics of Google Analytics.
'I think this went extremely well and had just the right balance of information delivery and discussion and was the right length of time'
'Very useful to be able to fine tune our evaluation strategy and KPIs with IPF staff at the outset.'
The feedback we received on the workshop was overwhelmingly positive. More importantly, all grantees responded ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ (average of 4.5 out of 5) to the statement, “My plan for evaluating my project (i.e., KPIs, long-term outcome measurement) has improved during the course of this workshop.”
As with comments about the overall workshop, grantee’s comments regarding their learning were positive.
'Rather than just reporting on the purchase of the equipment of the piece of equipment funded, I will be able to provide details on the impact…'
'I realised I didn't have any intermediate (stepping stone) KPIs - just ones for the ultimate project goal.'
'I understand the need to be more specific about measuring the outcomes of the project.'
'The workshop reminded me to record the baseline statistics against which I plan to report before the project begins.'
Plans for future workshops
Given this positive feedback the workshop is planned to be repeated in May 2016 for new grantees.