Feedback & Improvement
It is important to take time to regularly evaluate funding programs, considering the strengths and weaknesses of the program and where improvements can be made. It is also important to use this opportunity to evaluate if the funding program, as designed, is still the best way to approach your goals and take a step back to consider if the opportunity or challenge that inspired the program is still relevant.
When possible, collecting feedback from grantees, applicants, and program stakeholders is an invaluable way to ensure that the program is being comprehensively evaluated using a variety of perspectives. Consider sending a survey to grantees and applicants or include a question in the application or grant report to solicit feedback in real time.
Also plan on reporting out to community stakeholders to show accountability for the work. Openly sharing the results of the program, both positive and negative, helps build trust. By acknowledging flaws of the program and clearly stating steps that will be taken to address them, the program will continue being responsive to the needs of the community. However, it is just as important to then show that these changes were implemented in future iterations in order to maintain that trust in the community.