During our annual all-staff week at the end of the year, our assessment tools team has a tradition of sitting down together, grabbing some snacks, and listening as each of us shares an anecdote about how we’ve contributed to CEP’s impact for the year. 2014 has been a busy and productive year here at CEP, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by the diversity of stories our team shared. We’ve been hard at work to further enhance and grow our tools, and our staff has traveled all over the country (and across one ocean) to meet with foundation leaders and boards who’ve commissioned our tools and who share our passion and commitment to improving foundation effectiveness.
In 2014, we worked with 68 different funders in 23 states and six countries. Ranging in size and scope – and including community foundations, family foundations, and healthcare conversion foundations, among others – the causes and missions our clients are working tirelessly toward are vast. The important work of funders like these is what drives us in our mission, and I’d like to thank these foundations and their respective boards and staffs in particular for their commitment to assessing and continually improving their vital work.
In addition to serving our clients, we also focused on improving our own effectiveness, and that of our tools, in 2014. Here are just a few examples. In response to advice and feedback from those using our tools, we enhanced our online reporting system, adding new features and experimenting with the capability to track trend data for individual programs at foundations. We created and launched our first streamlined GPR for smaller funders. And we completed our first fully customized advisory services engagements – including working with one funder as it developed an organization-wide scorecard and another as it sought to benchmark the extent to which its application and selection process screened in and out risk.
As we prepare for the winter holidays, we look forward to continuing our work to engage more funders in 2015. For the Grantee Perception Report, Donor Perception Report, and Staff Perception Report, we will have survey rounds in February, May, and September next year. Whether you’re a funder that’s worked with us before or a funder seeking its first comparative assessments, as you seek to understand and continually improve your work, we’d love to hear from you and we’d love to help.
Thank you, happy holidays, and best wishes for a healthy, productive, and effective 2015.