Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

 Let’s capture the value your programs deliver in achieving your mission!

But first...take our Evaluation Readiness Quiz!

Funders expect performance monitoring and outcomes evaluation. Strategic Grants helps you report your outcomes to your donors and funders in a meaningful and relevant way.

We can help you understand the difference you are making and provide vital feedback on your program design, program outcomes and return on social investment.

Strategic Grants provides evaluation and performance monitoring services customised to your nonprofit to ensure:

    - you know what’s working and what’s not

    - you can tailor your programs accordingly 

    - you can report outcomes and social impact to your funders with confidence.

Scroll down to read more about our service including:

Grant-Seeking Review
Pre and Post Evaluation Tools
Needs Analysis
Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
Program Logic Design Workshop
Program Evaluation
Customised External Evaluation

And find out why you should use Strategic Grants, and read about our evaluation team

  gears                     gears                     gears   

              

 

"
We were lucky to work with Strategic Grants to put together an impact report on our work in rural Uganda. 

The evaluator was efficient, highly organised and was able to synthesise data meticulously to pull together a report which has been pivotal in our grants application process. It was such a pleasure to work with Strategic Grants and I highly recommend their services. 

They went above and beyond and were passionate about delivering excellent work that exceeded our expectations.

Annabelle Chauncy , CEO School For Life

 

Grant-Seeking Review

Need to gain insights into the performance of your Grant-Seeking Program?

Strategic Grants will work with your organisation to examine past grant-seeking practices and results. 

A full analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) will be carried out through an in-depth research and collation project.
 
Data will be examined to provide insights on who has funded what, how often, how much and trends in decreases / increases in funding that we can measure against sector trends more generally.  (Strategic Grants has sector trend information to measure against). 
 
Questions informing the review will include: 
 
    - How have funding opportunities been identified?
    - Have funders been called before applications submitted? 
    - Have funders been called on receipt of grant?
    - How is the grants activity stored?
    - How are reporting dates stored?
    - Have all grants been reported to funders?
    - What organisational key messaging have they used in their applications? 
    - Total number submitted over specified time periods
    - Success rate
    - Funder feedback 
 
The data and subsequent evaluation report will provide a clear plan (including ideal resourcing) for what the next steps need to be to develop a sustainable, centralised and effective grant-seeking strategy.
 
We recommend pairing this service with a Grants Program Review Workshop.
 
Pre-post Evaluation Tool

A pre and post survey will help you monitor whether you are achieving your funded goals and objectives. It will help prove capability, document the outcomes and potential impact, and can be used in creating a case for further funding and support. 

The tool includes two surveys with up to ten questions each, customised to an evaluation criterion:

- The pre-questionnaire is given to participants in advance of the project or intervention, to establish baseline information about the participants’ knowledge, expectations and aspiration.

- A post-questionnaire delivered near the end of the project is given to rate the effectiveness and outcomes of the project aligned to the evaluation criteria.

A report is provided that summarises the results from the data collected in the pre-post questionnaires to inform decisions and future investment.

Needs Analysis

Designing new projects can be like putting the pieces of a large and complex jigsaw puzzle together. To ensure your projects are underpinned by evidence, we offer an evidence-base review service.

We scan your organisation’s data to draw on the evidence of need, and examine relevant literature to summarise and review current knowledge on the issue your project is seeking to address. An evaluative report will be provided that provides the evidence to support your project need and design.

 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework

A well thought out monitoring and evaluation framework is essential to evaluate the outcomes you hope to achieve and identify targets needed to: measure success, track progress and be able to pivot when projects aren’t meeting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

We will design a realistic framework to help you monitor and measure outputs, outcomes and (potential) impact over the course of the project. Funder reporting requirements will be built in to ensure you are capturing the right data that meets and exceeds funder expectations.

A monitoring and evaluation framework will help you to:
    - Incorporate your evaluation framework at project design and planning stage
    - Clarify the goals and objectives
    - Identify variables that may influence the outcomes
    - Adhere to guidelines for ethical evaluation
    - Gather and store data responsibly and securely
    - Systematically monitor and analyse information in support of your work, and
    - Prepare reports that present the relevant data to your funders.

Program Logic Design Workshop

We will work with relevant staff in your organisation to create a program logic. Program logics are essential in assisting project planning and evaluation design.

Your program logic describes the inputs required to implement the strategies that are required to deliver the outputs, outcomes and predicted impact. It also identifies any assumptions and theories that underpin the way the program is expected to function. It tells the story of how the program will work.

During a half-day on-site workshop, we will work with key program staff and stakeholders to:

    - Identify need and aims
    - Develop an outcomes hierarchy
    - Identify deliverables, and
    - Review the current situation.

Subsequent to the workshop, a report will be provided containing a program logic. This will form the basis for developing a monitoring and evaluation plan, that will strengthen program design – all essential for ensuring a successful grant-seeking strategy.

 Program Evaluation

A rigorous service-based program evaluation will provide independent and objective perspective on your program services. A service-based program evaluation is about quality assurance and asks is your program or practice effective and what needs to change. A service-based evaluation can be used to:

    - Support applications for new or continued funding
    - Secure support from stakeholders and the community
    - Improve staff performance and management, and
    - Contribute to the broader evidence-base about what does and does not work for clients and providers regarding specific issues and experiences.

A service-based program evaluation may include:
    - Design of evaluation framework
    - Online questionnaires delivered at fixed time points during project evaluation (mixed methods e.g. quantitative/qualitative)
    - Brief structured interviews
    - Analysis of relevant organisational data (specified and ‘limited’), and
    - Review of best practice literature.

Additional evaluation methods and services we can provide might include:
    - Control groups
    - Focus group
    - Participatory designs
    - Longitudinal studies
    - In-depth interviews, and
    - Funder report writing.

Customised External Evaluation

There are several types of evaluations that can be conducted. Some of them include the following:

- Formative evaluation ensures that a program or program activity is feasible, appropriate, and acceptable before it is fully implemented.
  It is usually conducted when a new program or activity is being developed or when an existing one is being adapted or modified.

- Process/implementation evaluation determines whether program activities have been implemented as intended.

- Outcome evaluation measures how well the program is performing against the indicators, and 

- Impact evaluation assesses the longitudinal effects of your program and / or organisation.

Why Strategic Grants?

Strategic Grants’ evaluation team understands the unique needs of nonprofits to develop and implement high quality, robust evaluations at the organisational and program level.

We work closely with our nonprofit partners to plan and deliver evaluations that exceed funder expectations and provide performance insights that determine how to best use resources to meet mission.

Our team is experienced in using a wide range of engagement and evaluative methods. We ensure the service development and delivery of programs and practices, are informed by evidence-based principles.

Our extensive and current knowledge of Government and Philanthropic funder requirements and trends make Strategic Grants a unique provider in the evaluation field. We have a proud history of collaboratively working and co-presenting training with numerous funders in Australia and New Zealand, as well as with Philanthropy Australia and Philanthropy New Zealand, to help build the capacity of the nonprofit sector. 

Strategic Grants has in-depth knowledge and understanding of various types of evidence that can be used to test nonprofit program objectives. Through our training, advisory and writing work with hundreds of nonprofits, we have supported organisations to:

  • Identify and provide evidence of project need
  • Review literature on like interventions to provide evidence of theory of change
  • Use program logics in the planning of projects
  • Differentiate outputs, outcomes and impact and the best methods for data capture for each.
  • Provide rich qualitative data on the benefits of programs when reporting to funders, in addition to quantitative output data
  • Set SMART Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for organisational efficiency and effectiveness
  • Interview beneficiaries and other key stakeholders to provide rich data for funder reports, case studies and Case For Support documents.

Not only do our team of evaluation experts have a wealth of experience in working with funders and across the many nonprofit sectors, their knowledge and skills also span:

  • Strategic and evidence-based decision making
  • Demographic trend analysis
  • Academic social, health and education research
  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Literature reviews
  • Narrative-based case study reporting
  • Graphical representation of quantitative data
  • Development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks

The team is experienced in delivering a range of methodological evaluation designs.

The Evaluation Team

Jo BNEJo Garner, Director

Jo’s ability to synthesise key information into a strong, succinct report that is relevant to the stakeholder for whom it is being prepared and presented, ensures the content is always relevant and meets the objectives of the evaluation project.

Jo is experienced and skilled in project needs analysis and research, literature reviews and strategic planning including KPI setting. Jo has worked with numerous nonprofits to identify and manage missing elements in nonprofits’ performance measurement and evaluation processes in order to build their capacity to run a sustainable and effective funding program. Jo has worked over two decades to build the  capacity of nonprofits to be ready and able to win grants, and holds a BComm in Marketing and IT. Read more about Jo here.

 

KarleenQLDDr Karleen Gwinner

Karleen’s strength lies in her broad methodological perspectives across disciplines. She is proficient in research and analysis of complex issues; evaluative, qualitative and quantitative research skills; and has well-developed communication, consultation and negotiation skills. Her expertise includes project management, completing deliverables on time and ensuring excellent communication and coordination of activities with all stakeholders. She has outstanding understanding and experience of, public and clinical health, mental health and disability services, child and youth services, education and employment, promotion and prevention, the arts and community development. Karleen is skilled at needs assessments, relating program design to client needs, building evaluation frameworks, data collection and analysis, survey development, testing the efficacy of interventions and use of app and online evaluation technologies. Karleen’s qualifications include, Assoc. Dip. Vis. Art; Inst. Skills; BA (Hons); Grad. Dip. Com. Dev.; PhD Health. Read more about Karleen here.

 

NancyVicNancy Vaughan

Nancy’s ability and strength in designing evaluation processes and preparing comprehensive, usable evaluation reports, has come from ten years working with a diverse range of both nonprofit organisations and government agencies, including Victorian Government Department of Human Services, Regional Development Australia, Family Planning Victoria, St Luke’s Anglicare, a regional Women’s Health agency, local government and regional sports assemblies. Her experience has focused on evaluation of various community capacity-building and leadership programs, and has also included evaluation of family violence prevention initiatives, neighbourhood renewal and rural workforce capacity building projects.

Nancy’s additional track record and skills in working with nonprofits specifically in developing robust grant-seeking programs, has established Nancy as an evaluation specialist who can identify the most appropriate evaluation frameworks and processes to meet individual organisation’s needs.

Nancy’s diverse range of publications include evaluation reports, case study documents, and comprehensive population health and community profiles. Read more about Nancy here

 

KSBNEKate Sunners

Kate’s passion is in designing and implementing qualitative research methods that provide rich insights into human experience and the mechanisms underlying change. Her strength as an evaluator lies in her desire for research objectivity through the practice of reflexivity, and her ability to synthesise data meticulously to create meaningful insights. She has a deep interest in fostering evidence-based policy and decision making, and in cross-cultural and participatory evaluation approaches,  to collaboratively build communities’ capacity.

Kate holds a Bachelors’ of Social Science from the University of Queensland, with a major in Development Studies and a minor in Social and Public Policy. In her work with Strategic Grants she has worked with nonprofits on grants program analytics, developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks, and synthesizing and analysing data. As part of her studies, she has also undertaken several evaluation and social research projects for nonprofits focusing on migration, indigenous education, and infrastructure social impact assessment. Read more about Kate here.

  Get in touch to discuss your needs with a Strategic Grants Evaluation Specialist.