At ECMC Foundation, we believe that monitoring and evaluation are critical components of our investments. If the programs we fund are proven successful, they provide opportunities to scale up in order to reach a larger population of students. If not proven successful, they become lessons learned to inform future investments and offer an opportunity to adjust program components for improvement.
Currently, we are undergoing efforts to develop our evaluation framework and strategy. The consulting firm American Institutes for Research is guiding us through best practices in capturing and understanding the results of our investments.
The objectives of our evaluation include:
GRANT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
In 2017, we launched a new grantee portal that is designed to streamline the grant process and enable the Foundation to capture important qualitative and quantitative data.
The grants management system provides the Foundation and our grantees with a comprehensive grants management solution that centralizes our grantmaking functions, including monitoring and evaluation from grant inception. Through this comprehensive model of philanthropy, ECMC Foundation is positioned to conduct more in-depth analyses and prepare evidence-informed learnings that can be shared widely with the field.
WHAT'S IN THE GRANTS PORTAL?
During the proposal development process grantees, establish goals or major accomplishments they intend to achieve during the lifetime of the grant. Grantees develop measures of success, metrics that indicate whether or not the grant is on track to achieve its established goals, and report against the progress of those measures on an annual basis. Measures of success are unique to a grant and allow the Foundation team to better assess the performance of individual grants.
Through the new reporting tool and monitoring system, ECMC Foundation will capture characteristics and attributes about grant-funded program participants. By distilling participant information by key characteristics and demographics, ECMC Foundation will be able to garner deeper insights that will inform our work and help drive our strategy.
Focus area outcomes are standardized and shared across a portfolio so that ECMC Foundation can track outcomes grantees are reaching in aggregate to better understand the impact of our work for participants within our College Success and Career Readiness portfolios.