It’s been a busy year for Health Forward and our grantees. Before we bid farewell to an eventful year, our Health Forward associates take a look back at significant events and projects that helped make 2012 a productive year. On day three of our year in review, Health Forward Program and Evaluation Officer Jane Mosley shares how the Foundation is using the results of its grantee perception survey.
Often people ask me, how do you measure the impact of the Foundation’s grantmaking? It is a difficult question that lacks a simple answer. Evaluation encompasses many different aspects and one of the most important from the Health Forward Foundation’s (Health Forward) perspective is using information for learning.
As part of that framework, in 2012 Health Forward participated in our first grantee perception survey from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP). CEP works with many Foundations to conduct surveys of grantees on their perception of philanthropic funders.
Health Forward decided to invest in this survey because we feel it is important to hear objectively from our grantees – to learn what we are doing right and where we need improvement. Overall, we were very pleased with the results, especially the finding that most of our grantees consider us a partner in the work that they are doing in our community. Here are some of the highlights:
- Compared to other funders whose grantees CEP has surveyed, Health Forward Foundation receives positive ratings on many measures within this report, including its impact on its impact on grantees’ local communities and fields, the strength of its relationships with grantees, and helpfulness of its evaluation process.
- Grantees most frequently describe the Foundation as “supportive,” “responsive,” and “helpful.”
While it is always nice to hear positive comments about the work you do, the grantee perception survey also gave us constructive feedback in some critical areas, especially around the use of and reliance on external reviewers as well as duration of our funding. Rest assured, Health Forward takes this feedback seriously and are discussing potential changes to improve our policies.
After receiving the results from the grantee perception survey I am again reminded how proud I am to work at Health Forward. Not only do our associates take so much pride in the work we do, but we also very much value the opinion of others, particularly from the nonprofits with whom we consider our partners. I’m very grateful to all the organizations that spent their valuable time completing this survey and for providing very thoughtful feedback. As I look back on the past year, it is information such as this that provides us the critical source of data we need to ensure that are living up to our mission.