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Making an Impact: Strategy and Evaluation in Grantmaking

August 25 @ 12:30 PMAugust 26 @ 4:30 PM EDT

We’re online! This workshop will be presented online through Zoom. All registrants will receive the access link and password via email the day before the event.

Impactful grantmaking relies on the ability of foundation staff to develop, implement, manage, and advance clear strategies that effectively connect the mission of the foundation with grantee work. Join us to explore and discuss with peers how to develop and improve your grantmaking strategy through two key tools: theory of change and equitable evaluation.

This two-part course combines theory and practice in a collaborative, table-top exercise. Attendees will apply their learning throughout the two days to create a theory of change and a framework for evaluation based on an authentic issue from the sector. The exercise includes analyzing how strategy and evaluation can be developed, implemented, and managed with clarity to mitigate the impact of implicit bias and systemic inequalities, empower grantees through capacity building, and create relevant internal and external learning opportunities.

This intermediate level course is designed for program officers with 3 or more years of experience.

Instructors: Teri Behrens and Elvis Fraser
Deadline to Register: Wednesday, August 5

Meeting Dates & Times

This course takes place over two days. Participants will meet virtually on Tuesday, August 25 from 12:30–4:30 p.m. and again on Wednesday, August 26 from 12:30–4:30 p.m. (ET)

This course is a live, interactive experience. It will not be recorded or made available to registrants after the end of the live session.

Day One: Developing Strategy and Theory of Change
  • Theory of Philanthropy; equity in philanthropy, power dynamics, and risk tolerance
  • Developing a strategy for various levels: foundation, initiative, program
  • Developing a theory of change and communicating strategy

Day Two: Implementation, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Role of evaluation and the learning cycle
  • Evaluation design: equitable evaluation, approaches, focus, and management
  • Learning cycle: developing a learning culture, using evidence to inform strategy


Individual Registration: $595
Group Registration: $565 per participant
TGS Alumni: $565 (use promo code TGSALUM30)

Who should attend this course?

This course is intended for foundation staff, donors, and others engaged in grantmaking. If you do not fit this profile but are interested in attending, please email tara.baker@gvsu.edu before registering.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

This course may be subject to cancellation if it does not reach the minimum number of registrants. In the event of a cancellation, you will be notified at least two weeks before the course start date and will be offered a full refund or the option to transfer your registration to another Johnson Center offering. Refund requests for any other reason must be made at least two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Photo: Teri Behrens

Teri Behrens, Ph.D. is the executive director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University and is the founder and editor in chief of The Foundation Review, the Johnson Center’s quarterly, peer-reviewed journal on philanthropy. Learn more about Teri.
Photo: Elvis Fraser
Elvis Fraser, Ph.D. draws on more than 25 years of experience in strategy development, strategy monitoring and evaluation, and using evidence to inform program development and business process improvement. He is the founder and managing director of Sankofa Consulting, in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Fraser spent 10 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was responsible for leading the measurement, learning and evaluation function within the international agriculture development strategy team. Fraser has a doctorate in socio-economics with a concentration on international development. He has served as a senior social scientist and consultant for organizations including the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and many foundations, and has conducted research and has published on the interrelationships among social, political, and economic development. Learn more about Elvis.


August 25 @ 12:30 PM EDT
August 26 @ 4:30 PM EDT
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