Evaluation for Grant-Funded Programs and Projects

  • March 12, 2024

Evaluation in terms of grant funding is the process of assessing the effectiveness of a grant-funded program or project. It typically involves collecting and analyzing data to determine whether the program or project met its goals and objectives, and whether it had a positive impact on the target community.

What can evaluation accomplish?

Evaluation can be used to:

  • Improve the effectiveness of future grant-funded programs and projects
  • Demonstrate accountability to the public and to grantmakers
  • Learn from successes and failures
  • Identify areas for improvement

There are two main types of evaluation: formative and summative.

  • Formative evaluation is conducted during the implementation of a program or project, and provides feedback that can be used to make adjustments as needed.
  • Summative evaluation is conducted at the end of a program or project, and assesses the overall impact of the program or project.


A variety of methods can be used to evaluate grant-funded programs and projects, including:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Document review
  • Observation

The specific methods that are used will depend on the goals of the evaluation, the resources available, and the type of program or project being evaluated.

Grantmakers often require grantees to conduct an evaluation of their grant-funded programs and projects. However, even if a grantmaker does not require an evaluation, it is still a good practice to conduct one. Evaluation can help grantees to learn from their experiences and to improve their programs and projects.

Here are some of the benefits of conducting an evaluation of a grant-funded program or project:

  • Improved program or project effectiveness
  • Increased accountability
  • Learning and growth

Overall, evaluation is an important tool for grantmakers and grantees alike. It can help to ensure that grant funds are being used effectively and that grant-funded programs and projects are having a positive impact.

Finding an evaluator

Need an evaluation firm or evaluator for grant-funded innovation-focused programs and projects? Your evaluation firm or evaluator should…

  • Be an experienced evaluator or evaluation firm (✓ – We are.);
  • Be supportive of the innovation ecosystem and promote inclusive economic growth. ( – we totally do.);
  • Have experience working in the innovation and startup ecosystem ( – we totally do – this is our jam);
  • Be committed to creating regional-scale, technology-driven innovation ecosystems throughout every region of the United States, accelerating emerging technologies, driving economic growth, addressing key societal challenges, and maintaining national competitiveness ( – We do. );
  • Have a working knowledge of all (not just the program) funder’s guidelines, protocols, processes, and evaluation requirements ( – We totally do.).
  • Have experience evaluating large-scale ecosystem-change projects ( – We totally do.);
  • Have experience with reporting on project-level outcomes and federally required outcomes (GPRAs) (– We do);

Want to talk with us about how we serve as your External Evaluator for your next proposal? Schedule a consult call today. https://calendly.com/ebhoward/15min

We work with high-growth startups and organizations that support the startup and innovation ecosystem. We build highly specific non-dilutive funding menus, provide proposal preparation services, and measure outcomes of funding through evaluation. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.