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The Evaluation Matrix
Evaluation is one of the most confusing topics in philanthropy — in part because it embraces multiple definitions that are often jumbled together. Evaluation often refers to at least three different kinds of measures: monitoring measures that typically focus on whether grant money is being expended for its intended purpose; process measures that offer data on interim measures of grantor and grantee processes believed to be indicative of future success; and impact measures that assess whether giving is achieving the desired level of social progress. Each of these measures can in turn be assessed at three different levels: the individual grant, the program, and the grantor as a whole. Combining these measures and levels produces a nine-part matrix that begins to tease out some of evaluation’s varied meanings.