Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices: 2015 Benchmarking Data

Published: May 2016

Type: Publication

The result of a partnership between the Center for Effective Philanthropy and Center for Evaluation Innovation, this report offers a comprehensive look at foundation evaluation practices, based on 2015 survey data from 127 senior evaluation and program staff at foundations. 

Julia Coffman
Tanya Beer

In 2015, the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) and Center for Evaluation Innovation (CEI) partnered to better understand evaluation functions and staff roles at foundations, the relationship between evaluation and foundation strategy, the level of investment in and support of evaluation work, the specific evaluation activities foundations engage in, and the usefulness of evaluation information once it is collected.

CEP and CEI collected survey data from 127 senior evaluation or program staff at foundations. Respondents came from independent and community foundations that give at least $10 million annually, or foundations that were members of the Evaluation Roundtable network.

The report offers a comprehensive review of evaluation practices at foundations. The information is intended to help foundations determine what evaluation systems and practices align best with strategy, culture, and mission.

What resources should you invest in evaluation? On what should your evaluation efforts focus? And how can you learn from and use evaluation information? Considering these questions in the context of benchmarking data can help foundations to find the answers that best fit their organizations and work.