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Application Components: Evaluation and Conclusion

Evaluation is where you describe how you measure progress and results, and conclusion is where restate the purpose of your grant proposal and the outcomes that can be expected if you receive funding.

This is the fourteenth article in a series on grant writing. Read the introduction to the entire series.

Evaluation

The evaluation section is where you will describe how you will measure your progress and results. These are not the results themselves, but rather the tools you use to gather data and evaluate your program or project. There are two types of data that can be used in evaluations:

  • Qualitative data: This data generally comes in the form of interview responses. For example, to gather this data you might ask the people your program serves to “tell us one thing we can do to improve the program.” The responses are difficult to quantify but will give you a lot of good information and allow participants to expand on their responses. You cannot report numbers to a granting organization, but you can tell the funder what your organization learned, or will learn, from the information.
  • Quantitative data: This data can be measured. For example, let’s say you want to start a neighborhood farmer’s market to increase access to fresh food in your neighborhood. Once it is up and running you may distribute a survey to your neighbors asking “on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being less likely and 5 being much more likely, how much more likely are you to purchase locally produced vegetables now that there is a farmer’s market in our neighborhood?” With this data, you can report that “75% of neighborhood residents are much more likely to purchase locally produced ” Other examples of quantitative data include test scores or reports on how many people achieved measurable milestones (certifications, degrees, program completion, etc.).

Using the strawberry patch example, your evaluation methods may be:

  • Track watering and weeding frequency on gardening calendar.
  • At months 1, 3, and 5, measure crown width (diameter at widest point) for 10 randomly selected plants and count runners for select plants - compare to baseline data from prior season.
  • Track and compare to baseline data the number and weight of fruit produced averaged per live plant.
  • Count plant mortality rates at months 3 and 5.
  • Conduct taste test against store-bought berries with 3 participants using rating sheets and comment sections.
  • Take notes on hardiness factors like frost survival, pest infestation, and heat damage.

This example includes both qualitative and quantitative data. There are limitations to both types, and it is useful to combine the two, if possible. A funder may also tell you, or give you clues through the language they use, which type of data they prefer. Make sure the evaluation method proposed will help you determine whether or not you achieved the desired outcomes and provided the outputs promised, and help you improve the program in the future.

Conclusion

Some RFPs include a conclusion section. This is where you can restate the purpose of your grant proposal and the outcomes that can be expected if you receive funding. You may also want to thank the funder for the opportunity to submit and include your contact information if there was not an opportunity to do so earlier.