This page is for trustees of third sector organisations who want to know more about evaluation and their role in evaluation. Throughout the page there will be links to our evaluation resources and webpages.
As a trustee you may be asking yourself:
Why do I need to know about evaluation in my organisation?
As a trustee it will be important to you that your organisation is:
- making a difference to your service users
- able to submit good quality reports to your funders
- able to make evidence-based organisational decisions, and
- continuously learning about how to improve your services
All of these can be met by having good evaluation processes in place. You might start by exploring the Evaluation Pathway:
What do I need to know?
- How does our organisation evaluate its work?
- Does our organisation have an evaluation plan?
- Do we receive reports about the organisation’s activity and impact at board meetings?
- Does each project have its own evaluation plan, and outcomes?
- How do Trustees get involved in creating the Trustees’ Annual Report? (See ‘Where are the Trustees in the Annual Trustees Report‘ blog).
You may have a logic model which shows your short, medium and long term organisational outcomes. See ESS logic model guides below:
ESS Support Guide 1c – Developing a Logic Model
This is a practical guide that focuses on how you put together a basic logic model to help you think about your aims, outcomes and activities.
Introduction to logic modelling online learning
The video will help you build your own basic logic model, use a logic model to link your work to higher level outcomes, and use a logic model for evaluation.
You can also check out ESS case studies for ideas about evaluation planning.
What can I do as a trustee?
Trustees and their role in evaluation
This resource is designed for trustees who wish to gain a better understanding of how they can support their organisations with evaluation. The resource contains questions and items of discussion to ensure all trustees and staff are on board with evaluation.
- Be enthusiastic about evaluation, be an evaluation champion.
- Read your organisation’s past evaluation reports.
- Ask questions about how your organisation is making a difference and what evidence it is based on, such as:
- What are we learning?
- Are we using our learning to improve our services and making decisions?
- Can we use our learning to influence others working in the same field or to influence policy?
Questions to ask yourself and fellow trustees
- Are we on board with evaluation, enthusiastic and want to know how the organisation benefits our service users?
- Does the board receive appropriate evaluation reports and act on them?
What can ESS do?
Get in touch with ESS to discuss your evaluation needs.
ESS resources about evaluation
Making it stick – Wheel
This is the embedding evaluation wheel – a diagnostic tool to help you assess the progress of your organisation to embed evaluation.
Making it stick – A guide to embedding evaluation
Guide for people who have a role in making sure that evaluation is embedded into everyday practice within an organisation.
The focus of this page is on trustees’ role in ensuring you know the difference your charity makes. Of course you also want to know that your organisation is running well. For more help on that see SCVO’s Good Governance page or the Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations (PQASSO).