In reflecting on a year almost (but not quite) yet done, it can often be difficult to fit into a small space all the important things that happen in the span of 365 days, whether it’s in a family holiday card or in a year-end blog post. On the assessment and advisory services team at CEP, that’s definitely the case. We unveiled a major update to the online reporting system through which clients interact with their data, conducted third party assessments of all three of our core assessments (the Grantee, Donor, and Staff Perception Reports) to learn more about their impact and ways we can improve, and we ramped up our customized advising services to a new level.
I won’t try to summarize everything we did in 2015 — with the holidays fast approaching, I don’t know if I’d have the stamina (or you the attention span). But I wanted to take a moment and use this space to acknowledge those funders that asked us this year to work closely with them as they sought to assess and improve their effectiveness.
In 2015, we worked with 74 different funders in 29 states and five countries through our assessments, including many that have worked with us before and are seeking to understand how the changes they’d made since their previous assessment made a difference — and many that partnered with us for the first time.
When I look at those numbers, it humbles me to think of the vast number of grantees, donors, and foundation staff from across the country — and the world — who through our assessments shared their honest and candid perspectives about the funders they partner with, donate to, or work for. In our work, we seek to bring the distinct perceptions of these important stakeholders into the leadership and boardroom conversations of foundations — a place where it is often easy for those voices to not be heard. Looking back at the year, it is exciting to see more and more foundations and their respective staffs and boards commit to listening to and learning from key constituents as they work toward alleviating some of the world’s thorniest and most complex problems.
Looking toward the new year, I’m excited to engage the many foundations who have already signed up to work with CEP through our assessments in 2016 — and to engage many more who have yet to commit. If you’re interested in working with us again, or in joining for the first time this group of funders committed to assessing and improving their effectiveness, we’d love to help.
On behalf of the entire assessment and advisory services team at CEP, thank you, and best wishes for a happy, healthy, and effective new year.
Kevin Bolduc is vice president, assessment and advisory services, at CEP. Follow him on Twitter at @kmbolduc.