You’ve made it to December! It’s been a long year, and we hope all your hard work has paid off. Now that this year is coming to an end, it’s time to evaluate and prepare for the fights ahead. Evaluation is the most important activity you can do after a campaign or engagement has wrapped up. You don’t want to make the mistake of planning without reflection. Evaluations can help uncover great stories and vital metrics for fundraising messaging and, when done correctly, can inform your future project initiatives.
1. Data Entry
When you’re deep in a project or campaign, data entry and organization may take a backseat to reaching time-sensitive goals. Now that campaigns and projects are wrapping up as the year comes to an end, it’s time to catch up and ensure that all data is collected and compiled into a comprehensive and clean database. Don’t forget to add in the stats from that napkin you’ve been keeping on your desk for 3 months!
2. Celebrate Your Wins
Once the data has been collected and evaluated, it’s time to share those statistics with your team. This step is important for team morale at the end of a long year. It’s crucial that everyone sees the results of your hard work — especially if the campaign didn’t have an overall win. Sharing quantitative data is a great way to share successes with your team. Once you celebrate your wins internally, consider which ones can be shared publicly. Supporters will appreciate knowing what progress you made and all that you achieved with their help.
3. Implement Regular Evaluation
While you’re looking back and crunching data, make a plan to check in and take stock sometime before next December. Regular evaluation of campaigns and programs is important to ensure that you are on track to reaching your goals. When you evaluate continuously, you’ll have time to correct any potential issue that pops up, rather than realizing that something went wrong when it’s too late to make a change.
4. Consider New Measurements
Are you doing the best you possibly can to figure out what success looks like? Have your programs and campaigns evolved to meet the moment? Have you implemented an equity analysis? No two programs or campaigns are the same, so they all require a different approach. Think carefully about whether the way you’re measuring things makes sense. There has been a lot of advancement in terms of how we embed equity in evaluations in recent years. This has shed light on how the practice of evaluation can privilege certain viewpoints, lenses, people, and groups. The Equitable Evaluation Initiative is a great resource for creating an equitable framework for your evaluation.
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