Evaluation

Evaluation with A5cend

Evaluation helps you to gather evidence of your project’s value and quality, and the difference it makes to people, places and communities. By identifying the processes that work well, why and in what circumstances, it also helps streamline and improve your activities.

Funders need to know that their money is well spent, and the organisations they support must prove that they offer a good return on investment. These days, independent evaluations are de rigueur.

Our team of skilled evaluators have experience of producing evaluation reports that meet funders’ requirements. Our reports highlight a project’s key achievements, offer pointers for improvement, help organisations to progress towards project outcomes, and provide funding bodies with the evidence they need – a must for securing their continued support.

When do we evaluate?

Evaluation usually takes place at the end of a funded project (“summative evaluation”) to reflect on achievements and lessons learned, and inform the funder how its investment has made a difference. But it can also be an ongoing process of taking stock (“formative evaluation”) to ensure that the project is on track (flagging up changes where necessary).

When you sign up for an A5cend evaluation, we will discuss your and your funder’s needs, and devise and agree a plan.

What can you expect from us?

A5cend will collate the data you collect and convert it into information showing whether you are on track to achieve your objectives. We will conduct further research and use data analysis to support the funder’s annual monitoring process, delivering informative interim reports that comment on specific programme aspects (and recommend changes if necessary). We will also deliver a final report to present key findings and discuss whether and how the project met its objectives.

Depending on the agreed budget and scope, we can also make more regular contributions as a “critical friend”, advising those involved in the project’s day-to-day running. Biannual evaluation meetings ensure that evidence collection works effectively, enabling us to make any necessary adjustments.

What we provide

A5cend can provide any or all of the following services to support your evaluation:

  • Initial phone/face-to-face meeting to develop the checklist and evaluation plan
  • Data collection tools to use during your activities (eg, surveys, interview questions)
  • Information and advice on databases and information collection tools
  • Ideas for innovative user-appropriate activities
  • Regular check-ins to ensure all data collection is on track
  • Qualitative research into stakeholder, user and staff involvement, plus outcomes (through interviews, observations, etc)
  • Collation of research and reviews to uncover any significant data gaps
  • Analysis to uncover emerging information
  • Write-up of interim or end-of-project evaluation reports
  • Write-up of summative glossy leaflets (the data are easier to absorb in this format)
  • Report layout, editing and design

How much does it cost?

These days most funders are aware of the benefits of evaluation and actively encourage it.  As a result, they will factor in evaluation budgets to support your organisation to measure the impact of your work. When working on funding applications, it is vital to include realistic costs to cover independent evaluation. A5cend can advise and provide estimates based on the size, scope and length of your project (it’s could be in the region of £2,000-£6,000 a year).

Why evaluate?

  • Evaluation helps you serve users more effectively by inviting them to share how your project works for them – vital first-hand evidence for funders that improves your practice too
  • It pinpoints the best use of resources by allowing you to understand better what works and what doesn’t
  • It helps to identify unexpected benefits, as well as your programme’s wider impact
  • It can measure staff satisfaction (or dissatisfaction)
  • It helps staff and volunteers reflect on and improve their practice, and celebrate their achievements, increasing their satisfaction
  • It strengthens funding bids and supports arguments for sustaining successful work by documenting outcomes (or the need for change) to managers and funders
  • It can help pilot untried or risky ways of doing things
  • It underpins promotional material
  • Evaluation reports can be shared widely to change public attitudes and influence policy
Gasworks Dock Partnership

What our clients say about us

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with A5cend. They are very pleasant and easy to work with and understand the differences of our community needs, which is a great help.”

“For us, it was a logical step for A5cend to help with our monitoring and evaluation. It made sense to work with the organisation that had helped us and understood what we were doing, so we would not have to invest time explaining our aims and objectives all over again.”

“The fact that A5cend provides both fundraising support and evaluation/impact measurement support is really useful. Before we worked with A5cend, we didn’t really appreciate how important evaluation is to fundraising, nor understand what effective evaluation looks like.”