Voluntary Sector Evaluation Research Project

The voluntary sector requires more resources, training, and clearer expectations from grantmakers in order to effectively evaluate and report on programs


The purpose of this project was to determine the extent to which the voluntary sector has access to evaluation information and resources, and to provide an information base for future improvements. Voluntary organizations have been increasingly expected to conduct evaluations of their programs and to share the reports with grantmakers in order to demonstrate effectiveness. Though they are increasingly required to report on the impact of voluntary sector programs, minimal funding or training has been provided for voluntary organizations to effectively carry out the required evaluations, in spite of the innovation and improvement that has occurred in the development of new evaluation methods in universities and elsewhere. The report finds that voluntary sector organizations lack the resources and training to effectively report on their programs, and often believe that program reporting is not effectively utilized by grantmakers.

Grant Outputs

Assessing Performance: Evaluation Practices and Perspectives in Canada’s Voluntary Sector – http://library.imaginecanada.ca/files/nonprofitscan/en/vserp/vserp_report.pdf

Voluntary organizations perform a critical role in Canadian life providing a variety of programs and services that address people’s individual and social needs. Their effectiveness in doing so depends, in no small part, on their ability to adequately assess the performance of these programs and services. This report presents results from a national survey of the evaluation practices of Canadian voluntary organizations and of funders of voluntary organizations. It concludes with a series of recommendations, including; development of resources used to demystify the evaluation program, more financial resources and training for voluntary sector organizations, increased provision of technology to aid in evaluation reporting, and the development of an evaluations resource center.

Grant Details

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