Building an effective yet comprehensive evaluation, that a grantor sees as valuable and you see as “doable”, is sometimes the most challenging part of preparing a proposal. There are several types of evaluations and evaluation terms that are used in the request for proposals. For the most part grantors want a dependable, statistical method that will effectively evaluate the project’s activities.
Grantors such as the National Science Foundation and some of the larger grant programs offered by federal agencies, look favorably on the use of external evaluators and in reality this makes the job of writing the proposal just a little easier. The evaluator, as part of their contract, should help write or build the evaluation part of the proposal. This is a great way to learn about writing an effective evaluation that can be used later for other projects.
Questions that a good evaluation answers are:
1. How did the project work?
2.Were the objectives achieved? Which ones were or were not?
3. Were the activities that you planned actually conducted the way you planned?
4.Where there any unexpected events that affected the success of your project?
Either in a negative or positive way?
5. Was there community or organizational commitment during the project? How do you know?
6. Could the project be a model to be replicated in another city, state or on a national level?
(Karash & Fox, 2006)
The evaluation should directly link to the project goals, objectives and the project timeline. The expectations for this part of the proposal are usually defined in the request for proposal or guidelines. The more emphasis the grantor puts on this part, the more they expect to see a great evaluation in submitted proposals. Remember an evaluation is nothing more than showing that the project outcomes were either what was expected or were not what was expected and why.
Evaluations can be difficult but with the right tools, any grant writer can take it on! Below are some links to websites that can help you build evaluations.
The resources listed are some of the best. There are many more but these are the most comprehensive and are from respected organizations among grantors.
Sample Evaluation for a Federal\State\Foundation Grant