Key Points

· This article describes the results of a study on current knowledge and practices in evaluating foundation communications. The study consisted of three parts: an online survey of practitioners, a series of in-depth key informant interviews, and an extensive literature review.

· The study found that while most practitioners agree that evaluating communications is necessary to make decisions about their communication strategy, more than half did not regularly do so. Lack of experience or skills was the second top barrier cited, after lack of human/financial resources.

· Those who have more experience with evaluation were more likely to feel that it was not too difficult or expensive and that it was important to share results than those with less experience.

· While there are worthy resources on program and campaign evaluation, few tools exist that are specific to evaluating foundation and nonprofit communications. The tangible result of this study was the development of such a tool for communication practitioners.

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