Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Relationship Between Evaluation and Grant Writing

While it's true that evaluation and grant writing are completely separate disciplines, there is an important link between them. Yes, report writing and grant writing both involve writing, but the connection is even more important than that and, unfortunately, it is often overlooked.

The connection?  Data.

The data you gather to evaluate your programs is very valuable for demonstrating both your need for additional funding and your capacity to implement programs effectively.

Even if there is not a grant proposal on the horizon for you, you should prioritize your data collection and evaluation activities very highly. Then, when a grant opportunity comes up that is right for you, you'll be ready.

When I teach grant writing workshops, I ask participants to imagine that they are grant makers.  You have $5.00 in your pocket to give to someone.  There are many people competing for your favor, and you are charged with a very difficult decision - who should get your $5.00?  You want to spend it well so it will really make a difference.  Everyone has a need, but some people have solid evaluation data to demonstrate not oly what they need, but to prove that when they implement a solution, it is successful in meeting the need they targeted. Wouldn't you want your money to go to those programs that have powerful evidence of positive impact?

When you get the grant, the loop gets even stronger because you can use some of your grant funds to support evaluation activities, which help you build an even stronger case in future fund raising and grant writing.

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About Creative Resources & Research

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Woodland, CA, United States
Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.