Nonprofit organizations and foundations hold great promise for developing new ideas to overcome old problems and for helping people the world over to live healthier, happier lives. But for all that promise, problems are still getting worse. In the face of ever growing need, funders and nonprofits need to use every tool at their disposal to maximize impact. Doing good isn’t enough. We need to do ever better.
Evaluation is an often undervalued, overlooked tool for improving outcomes and maximizing impact. It is seen as a nice to have, not as a need to have. In State of Evaluation 2012 the data show that more than two-thirds of organizations do not have the promising capacities and behaviors in place to meaningfully engage in evaluation. And 47% of organizations with annual budgets greater than $5 million did not have at least one full-time employee dedicated to evaluation. In a sector where results matter, it is incumbent upon us all to evaluate, learn, and improve.
For more information on the State of Evaluation Project (and to download the report), visit www.stateofevaluation.org.