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Published by: Teachers Without Borders on May 10, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Indicators of Effectiveness:
A Practical Worksheet for Foundation Staff and Board
Contact Information:

The Center for Effective Philanthropy
678 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 903
Cambridge, MA 02139

Framework: Assessing Overall Foundation Performance
Total Social Benefit Created
Relative to Resources Invested
Social benefit created can be inferred from
measures of performance, such as those below.
Achieving Impact
\u2022Program Objectives
\u2013 What is the aggregated impact directly caused by all our programs?
\u2013 Have we been successful in meeting program related goals?
\u2022Grant Objectives

\u2013 Are we selecting the grantees who can best achieve impact?
\u2013 What impact can we attribute to this grant?
\u2013 Did this grant successfully meet our goals?

\u2022Strengthening Grantees
\u2013 Are we improving grantee effectiveness?
\u2022Funding Influence / Leverage
\u2013 Do we influence others to fund our grantees?
\u2022Field Effects
\u2013 Have we advanced the field by influencing thinking of policymakers, funders, thought leaders, or the public?
Setting the Agenda / Strategy
\u2022Focus Areas
\u2013 Have we identified appropriate program areas to concentrate on?
\u2013 Are our goals in each area clear and achievable?
\u2013 Have we selected the best approach (theory of change) in each area to reach our goals?
Managing Operations
\u2022Consistency with Objectives
\u2013 Have we adhered to our stated strategy?
\u2022Grantee Selection Process
\u2013 Is our selection process clear and uniformly implemented?
\u2022Grantee Interactions
\u2013 Are we responsive to our grantees and do we treat them fairly?
\u2022Staff Recruiting, Review and Retention
\u2013 Are our staff satisfied, qualified and high performing?
\u2022Administrative Expense
\u2013 Are our administrative costs appropriate to our activities?
\u2022Endowment Investment Performance
\u2013 How well have we managed our financial assets?
\u2013 Do our investments conflict with or further our social mission?
Optimizing Governance
\u2013 Is leadership held accountable for performance?
\u2013 Is the board of directors fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities?
\u2022Active Engagement
\u2013 Are we using the expertise of our board members to further the foundation\u2019s goals?

Excerpted from Indicators of Effectiveness: Understanding and Improving Foundation Performance, Figure 4, page 13, 2002.
Available at www.effectivephilanthropy.org
\u00a9 Center for Effective Philanthropy

Worksheet: Identifying Indicators of Foundation Performance for My Foundation
Sample Indicators of Effectiveness
Program and grant evaluation data, census data

Grantee perception surveys, grantee financial
operational statistics and evaluations, grantees\u2019
funding growth, foundation\u2019s reputation, outside
experts\u2019 opinions, changes in policy, research,
opinion polls

Program evaluation data, strategic review,
research outcomes, outside experts, comparison
to other foundations, comparative grantmaking
characteristics from a relevant cohort of peers

Foundation spending analyses, grantee
perceptions, denied grant applicant perceptions,
internal tracking of grantee contact, internal
survey results, benchmarking data

Senior management performance review
process, board policies and procedures, strategic
reviews, board self-assessments

My Foundation\u2019s Indicators of Effectiveness

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