This practice guide is a simple, straightforward resource for grantmaking program officers interested in using external consultants for program evaluations.
When should a foundation invest in an evaluation.
Factors that influence the cost of an evaluation.
Tips on selecting and engaging an evaluator.
The standard elements of a consulting contract.
The two questions to ask before embarking on an evaluation: 1) what do we want to know; and 2) who will use the information and how?
Expect an evaluation to cost anywhere between 5 to 10% of a foundation’s total program costs.
Proceed with caution if a potential evaluator turns in a proposal that’s filled with science speak. Aim for proposals that are easy to understand and define a clear plan.
Tops on the list of management tips: Establish a communication pattern early, put it in writing and identify a clear point of contact.
Three warning signs that a consulting relationship is failing: 1) missed deadlines; 2) difficult communication; and 3) an ever-shifting work plan.