Report: Foundations’ Support of Nonprofit Performance Assessment

Posted by on October 29, 2012

Room for Improvement: Foundations’ Support of Nonprofit Performance Assessment

This report from the Center for Effective Philanthropy discusses the need for more foundation support for nonprofit performance assessment.

The effectiveness of nonprofit organizations matters greatly to those who believe in the power of the social sector. For foundations, nonprofit effectiveness is particularly relevant: The extent to which foundations make a difference in society depends on the effectiveness of the nonprofits they fund. It makes sense, then, that how well nonprofits understand the difference they are making strongly affects foundations’ ability to understand their own impact.

The majority of foundation CEOs believes that nonprofits should be held to higher standards of evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work. This view is echoed by the business press, which often castigates nonprofits for not caring about assessment or failing to use data to improve their day-to-day work. The pressure for nonprofits to demonstrate their impact also emanates from government granting agencies and a growing number of nonprofit-rating websites.

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