ACT meets all of the criteria of a top expert grant evaluation agency as you will read by clicking on the following links…
ACT’s evaluation services encompass a wide variety of grant research capabilities that are carried out on both our client’s physical site and remotely. The first step in our grant evaluation service process involves sitting down with our clients – assessing their evaluation needs, their desires in terms of how they want to use their evaluation findings, and their capacity limitations. We then compare these elements to the grant funder’s evaluation requirements. This information is combined into an easy-to-navigate and easy-to-understand “Evaluation Scope of Work” – or what we refer to as an E-SOW. This document is always carefully reviewed with our clients and their grant funders (once approved by the client) so that no detail is overlooked. Our clients find that the E-SOW is an excellent tool for defining the “who does what and when and the how’s” of a full scale grant evaluation. It is then our evaluator’s job to be on top of the E-SOW – working around the clock to make sure every element of the plan is accomplished on time and within budget so that our clients – and their funders – are pleased.
Many evaluators from universities and other companies we have worked with over the years tend to be stuffy, overly analytical, and hard to work with at a personal and business level. You will NOT have this experience with ACT’s evaluators. Our evaluators have worked on the ground level of nonprofits and government agencies. They are down to earth and understand that your priorities may not necessarily lie in numbers and statistics – but rather in children and communities. We guarantee you will love your evaluator because it is his/her goal to make your life easier so you can concentrate on your core services and mission.
Many clients actually come to us because they have worked with an evaluator who creates more paperwork and processes that are beyond the clients’ capacity to handle. Additionally, we often hear that some non-ACT evaluators tend to “disappear” for long periods of time and don’t treat their clients as a priority. You will not find this with us. Our evaluators are at points in their careers where they have already done the publication routes and tenures. Their time is your time. You can count on them to provide a consistent stream of useful feedback that will help you improve your grant initiatives and organizational functions. They are only a phone call or email away (if not right in front of you).
ACT’s evaluation staff has a combined 75 years of grant evaluation experience as well as a proven track record of successfully improving the grant programs and organizations they are dedicated to serve. You can count on the quality, reliability, and helpfulness of our evaluation team. We will be there to assist you every step of the way! From day one of the award until the submission of the final evaluation report, our desire is to help you achieve your goals by minimizing the amount of time that your staff will have to devote to the paperwork, data collection, and reporting required by your funder. This, in turn, will support you in focusing on implementing a SUCCESSFUL grant program.
Our grant evaluators are highly educated and knowledgeable in a number of grant areas. The following list provides an overview of just a few of the mechanisms they may use to help you ACHIEVE your grant goals:
- Creating and using logic models to plan, implement, guide, and evaluate your grants and programs.
- Setting up grant management systems that ensure programmatic and fiscal accountability.
- Developing quantitatively-based instruments, including surveys, checklists, and observation protocols.
- Setting up check and balance systems for both the coordination of your grant and the summative evaluation.
- Utilizing focus groups, interviews, observations and other qualitative methods.
- Creating data collection systems and online data collection templates (federal and state) that match your audiences’ skill level (i.e. this means anything from paper and pencil to extravagant online reporting mechanisms).
- Analyzing qualitative and quantitative data using robust and appropriate statistical methods.
- Triangulating information from a variety of qualitative and quantitative data sources to produce results that are credible and valid.
- Identifying the need and working with Institutional Review Board (IRB) in order to protect human subjects on research projects or within research programming.
- Tailoring monthly, quarterly, or annual reports to the client or stakeholder’s needs.
- Submitting valid, timely, and efficient evaluations that make use of online technology, web-based data collection, management and analysis programs, and sophisticated software packages for both quantitative and qualitative data analysis.
Common Methods Used by ACT Evaluators
Our evaluators are educated and highly knowledgeable in specific evaluation methods. They commonly use the following methods with our clientele…
- Case studies
- Collaborative group processes
- Document analysis
- Documented experience of an organization
- Expert assessment (i.e., clinical examination)
- Focus groups: participant, key informant
- Key informant and participant interviews and group interviews, including face-to-face, telephone, web-based (audio, video recorded)
- Key informant and participant questionnaires/scales/surveys: written, postal, web-based
- Logic models for planning
- Needs assessment
- Non-participant and participant observation
- Outcome logic model drawing
- Photo, video, and audio recordings of grant activities
- Review and analysis of program and grant literature and an organization’s previous experience
- Research and literature reviews
- Stakeholder assessment workshops
- Stakeholder consultation and planning