For foundations, there are lots of questions to reflect on when thinking about which evaluation practices best align with their strategy, culture, and mission. How much should a foundation invest in evaluation? What can they do to ensure that the information they receive from evaluation is useful to them? With whom should they share what they have learned?
Considering these numerous questions in light of benchmarking data about what other foundations are doing can be informative and important.
Developed in partnership with the Center for Evaluation Innovation (CEI), Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices is the most comprehensive data collection effort to date on evaluation practices at foundations. The report shares data points and infographics on crucial topics related to evaluation at foundations, such as evaluation staffing and structures, investment in evaluation work, and the usefulness of evaluation information.
Findings in the report are based on survey responses from individuals who were either the most senior evaluation or program staff at foundations in the U.S. and Canada giving at least $10 million annually, or members of the Evaluation Roundtable, a network of foundation leaders in evaluation convened by CEI.
This report was prepared by the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) together with the Center for Evaluation Innovation (CEI). A number of people contributed to the development of the survey instrument, analysis of data, and creation of this research report. From CEP: Ellie Buteau, Jennifer Glickman, and Charis Loh. From CEI: Julia Coffman and Tanya Beer.