Foundation leaders care about making the most effective use of always limited resources. But finding the best evaluation method is challenging, according to a recent survey conducted by the Center on Effective Philanthropy.
The survey was distributed to CEOs of 537 foundations that make grants of at least $5 million a year. The survey doesn’t state whether these were all private foundations or whether any community foundations were included, but the results certainly match the goals of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham — to drive positive change and achieve measurable results.
Data is critical for effective measurement, according to The State of Foundation Performance Assessment: A Survey of Foundation CEOs, whether measuring the organization of the foundation itself or of the program work it performs. As a Center overview stated, “virtually no one surveyed believes that foundation staff place too much emphasis on data, (but) almost 60 percent do see an inherent tension between a greater focus on assessment on the one hand, and the freedom to take risks on innovative ideas, on the other.”
Despite these challenges, the report showed that foundation CEOs continue to be committed to seeking the most effective ways to evaluate what they do. We share that commitment as we work with partners to improve the life of our region. Review the current Results Framework for a look at the four key Results and the strategies we are pursuing to reach them.