Grant and tender writing can be challenging for people in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector who are more accustomed to project management or client facing roles. Over the last couple of years, we’ve supported many NFPs to submit high quality grant and tender applications across topic areas from mental health, alcohol and other drugs, health and wellbeing, disability, employment, and many more!
Based on our experience in seeing the good, bad and ugly of grant and tender writing, we’ve compiled a list of super practical tips for not-for-profit organisations to ponder prior to ripping in to their next grant or tender application.
In the real world of service delivery, economic principles are problem-solving tools that use data and modelling to support both strategic and programmatic decisions. They should bring about ‘aha moments’ with insights that managers and program staff can put into practice to achieve their intended vision and goals. We knew our task was not to tell the client the percentages of funding to be allocated to individual services, but rather to build a resource allocation modelling tool that they could easily use during upcoming funding negotiations.
In this final post of our Evaluation Ready series, we explore a few helpful tips to make evaluation a priority within your organisation.
Once you know how to put together a basic framework to guide how to do a program evaluation, the next challenge can often be making evaluation a consistent part of the work you and your colleagues do.
The tendency in many organisations is to focus on service delivery. This can mean that it can be hard to commit adequate time to step back and review how effective a program is, what impact it is making, or how it could be strengthened.
This post will focus on the how using a simple yet structured process. It can be scaled up or down depending on the size of the program you’re evaluating. It works best when you create this framework prior to starting to implement your program. This means you can start collecting the data you need from the beginning. You can still develop an evaluation framework retrospectively (i.e. when your program is ending), but it makes it a little trickier to find data that you might need but haven’t collected.
We should not forget that although we all want to commission outcomes and reward good performers, we want to do so while advancing an equity agenda that prioritises outcomes and funding for disadvantaged populations. Needs-based financing provides a solid grounding to ensure populations experiencing higher level of disadvantage receive relatively higher levels of funding, without which their outcomes are likely to stagnate or deteriorate even further.
Evaluation Ready is a series of blog posts that aims to capture some of the knowledge, processes and lessons that we’ve assembled along our journey of supporting organisations to better evaluate their work, in the hope of prompting more people to see themselves as an evaluator. This first post introduces some fundamental concepts around evaluation when done well, including tips for planning the why, what, who, when and how.