Maximizing the Value of Philanthropic Efforts through Planned Partnerships between the U.S. Government and Private Foundations. Selecting Evaluation Approaches


If the efficiency and effectiveness of philanthropic efforts are at all a concern, it is in the interests of stakeholders to evaluate programs as rigorously as possible. If rigorous evaluation shows initiatives supported by philanthropy have achieved their goals, decisions on further investments can be made with greater confidence. Such evaluations, however, are not always feasible or appropriate. They are costly, and the context of many initiatives may not be suitable for experiments. In the developing world, there may exist little capacity to conduct such evaluations, and willingness among the various stakeholders may be lacking because of cost or objections to making people subjects in an experiment and denying services or other benefits to a control group.

With respect to collaborative efforts, it is important that donors have similar expectations for the evaluation of their programsor at least that they can come to agreement about the evaluation approach. Given the costs associated with evaluation, it may be difficult to convince some stakeholders that the effort merits the expense, especially in cases where evaluations are not required or will not be used for further decision making.

View full report


"report.pdf" (pdf, 1.78Mb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®