Answer: Federal grants many times ask about your evaluation plan. It’s important to make funding agency aware that you know that your program will be held accountable to do what you said it will do. In order to prove to the funding agency that you are going to use funds properly and accomplish what you set out to do you may choose to hire an evaluator.
The performance measures you put in place will need to be evaluated and reported to the funding agency. Its best to plan out how you will evaluate your programs performance in as much detail as possible. It looks even better if you have an outside evaluator conduct your evaluation. The grant will pay for your evaluator to help you develop data collection tools, collect and interpret data, and compile comprehensive evaluation reports for funders and stakeholders. Its important to be sure that who ever you hire to evaluate your grant program will not have a conflict of interests.
Bev Browning suggests finding:
- A retired College or University faculty member,
- Government personnel who have had administrative experience in a finance department,
- or an actual evaluator!
Tip: Network and rub shoulders with fellow program managers and executive team members who may be familiar with any evaluators. Many organizations have an evaluator already.