Why we are pursuing a “culture of evaluation” at WRAG

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why we are pursuing a “culture of evaluation” at WRAG

by Tamara Lucas Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

This piece was originally published on the Daily WRAG.

How do you know if your work is making a difference?

Sometimes the methodology can be relatively simple. Just ask.

That’s what the Taproot Foundation did last year when they assessed the impact of WRAG’s work. They described their methodology with language that reflected their research perspective, but bottom line, they interviewed individuals and talked with groups both within and outside of the WRAG community. In other words, they asked.

Over the coming years, WRAG plans to continue asking. With both intentionality and brevity, we will pursue a culture of evaluation.

Our asking, however, will have no value without your answers. We promise to keep our questions pointed and the number few. In order to provide you with content and experiences that promote increased, more effective, and more responsible philanthropy (WRAG’s mission), we need your feedback. Are we hitting or missing the mark? Your input will be fundamental in guiding how we shape our programming and what those programs are.

We can add up the numbers. In 2015, WRAG hosted 65 events that over 1300 individuals attended from 344 organizations. Did we provide valuable information? Maybe, but the real question is ”What happened because of those sessions?” Only you can tell us that. We have the quantitative info, but the story is not complete without your qualitative input. So, if you are a regular at WRAG events, look for evaluation tools following some events. Please take the very few minutes necessary to give us your input.

We are committed to offering programming that enhances philanthropy and serves to improve the region. Are we doing that? You’ll have to let us know.

We know WRAG isn’t the only organization thinking deeply about evaluation and impact these days. Join us on March 10 for a “Brightest Minds” event featuring David Grant, who will change the way you think about social profit evaluation.