Can You Hear Us Now? Evaluating Policy Change and Advocacy

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 -
3:00pm to 5:00pm EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
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A program presented by Philanthropy Connects, the public policy committee of Philanthropy New York.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: CEOs, trustees, program officers, evaluation officers, and other funders interested in assessing whether their public policy and advocacy strategies, initiatives, and grantees are having an impact. 

2:30 to 3:00 PM     Check-in and Coffee
3:00 to 5:00 PM      Program

  • What is your advocacy strategy?
  • How will your strategy produce the changes you want?  What are some likely milestones along the path to success?
  • Who needs to be involved in order for you to be successful?  What will be the role of grantees, partners, and other key players?
  • How do you know your policy and advocacy work is on track?  How can you quantify success?

The attraction of public policy and advocacy funding is its potential to leverage systemic change.  This is an important philanthropic investment.  But do you know if it’s working, especially when advocacy work is usually a long-term investment with long-term outcomes?

Evaluation has the potential to inform and strengthen advocacy and policy change work. It will yield information for learning and improvement, and for reporting and accountability. Advocacy and policy change evaluation is the critical tool for ensuring that the work is on track—and for identifying when it has gone astray so that course corrections can be made. Topics will include:

  • How advocacy and policy change work is different from other philanthropic work, and how these differences affect evaluation.
  • What does interim progress mean? What types of measures are appropriate?
  • What needs to be decided when designing an advocacy/policy change evaluation?

This session will explore approaches to evaluating advocacy and public policy funding and the significance of such evaluation.  The authors of a recent article on “Effective Advocacy Evaluation: The Role of Funders” will discuss their suggestions.  Several funders will talk about their experience and what they have learned so far from their efforts to evaluate their advocacy funding.

Participants are invited to share their own experiences in evaluating public policy and advocacy funding. To share relevant resources, please contact


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