Portfolio Level Assessment: Evaluating Early Stage Advocacy Investments

Session Number: 1275
Track: Advocacy and Policy Change
Session Type: Demonstration
Presenter 1: Wendy Church [ORS Impact]
Presenter 2: Sara Afflerback [ORS Impact]
Presenter 3: Amy Arbreton [The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation]
Time: Oct 17, 2014 (03:30 PM - 04:15 PM)
Room: 108

Level: None

Session Abstract:  This is a case study of an early-stage advocacy evaluation. We will provide insights into the methods used to collect and present data to a philanthropic client supporting an advocacy portfolio to support decisions about grantmaking and strategy. Consultants at ORS Impact led an evaluation designed to assist the Hewlett Foundation in assessing their advocate grantees working within states and at the federal level along dimensions of alignment and capacity. We will describe the mixed-methods approach including appropriate advocate and key informant interviews, as well as quantitative secondary data analysis tools. Benefits and shortcomings of these tools and approaches will be reviewed. Also discussed will be the steps used to generate strategic learning for the foundation. This element will be presented from the perspective of the foundation's Evaluation Officer, who will describe how the relevant aspects of the evaluation approach and findings were shared and used across the foundation's program areas.