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Evaluation and Performance Measurement

Why Evaluation?

Evaluation, in the most general sense, involves the assessment of strengths and weaknesses to improve the effectiveness of policies, programs, practices, personnel and other formal structures.

Program evaluation, more specifically, is a systematic method for collecting and analyzing information about the effects of a program and assessing how it’s attaining the objectives of grant makers, grantees or intended participants. Program evaluation methods and tools can be useful for both state arts agencies and state arts agency grantees. Evaluative practices are important for both state arts agencies and their grantees to demonstrate accountability to funders and stakeholders and to make a compelling case for more resources.

The following materials provide practical and aspirational tools to help state arts agencies to assess their own work and to provide grantees with program evaluation guidance.

Performance Measurement

NASAA collects examples of state arts agency performance measurement tools. Browse the collection for examples of the many approaches to applying and presenting performance metrics, including internal state arts agency documents as well as accountability reports required by state budget offices and legislatures.

Program Evaluation Resources

Getting Started with Program Evaluation: A Guide for Arts Organizations

This short guide, developed collaboratively by NASAA and the Georgia Council for the Arts, is designed for state arts agencies to share with their grantees. It introduces nonprofit arts managers to basic program evaluation concepts and illustrates how evaluation can be relevant to the arts.

State Arts Agency Program Evaluation Examples

In addition to performance measurement and understanding how grantees evaluate programs, state arts agencies evaluate their own programs and portfolios. Explore these examples.

State Arts Agency Benchmarking Reports

To assist you with your benchmarking and performance measurement efforts, NASAA can create custom funding and grant-making reports that illustrate similarities and differences between your agency and other states.