The Foundation is committed to meaningful results that will help gauge our progress in improving the health of all Kansans. Because we must be responsible for and transparent in our investments, we will use evaluation to help us:

  • Focus our funding efforts
  • Improve program implementation
  • Track advancement toward our focus area outcomes

Within this section, information can be found on the Foundation’s approach to evaluation, an explanation of the measurable results the Foundation is tracking, current and past program evaluations, lessons learned and a list of tools and resources that both informs the Foundation’s evaluation work and may be of interest to other individuals and organizations.

We welcome feedback. If you have questions about the evaluation expectations, please contact Nadine Long, program officer, at 316-491-8456 or nlong@khf.org.

Our Approach

To determine whether we’re making strides toward our mission, the Foundation works with grantees to clarify goals, state desired grant results, articulate strategies and identify indicators of progress. This approach helps grantees successfully reach their goals, measures the success of the Foundation’s initiatives and informs future Foundation grant making.

Evaluation begins with the grant application and review process so grantees begin work with the final results in mind. Evaluation benefits grantees by providing:

  • A clear statement of purpose
  • Focus on programmatic goals
  • A mechanism to identify mid-program corrections if needed

Evaluations are helpful for grantees to measure their own work. Grantees report their progress annually and submit a final summary of their results at the end of the grant term. We partner with grantees to develop mutually agreed-upon goals and milestones and provide any assistance necessary during this process.

Measurable Results

To monitor the progress toward our outcomes, the Foundation has identified the measurable results in both program areas. These results guide not only the Foundation’s programmatic decision making, but also its evaluations.

Though measurable results play a vital part in the Foundation’s grant making, it is important to understand both the strengths and limitations of setting specific measures for focus areas.

Measurable results:

  • Guide the Foundation’s grant-making strategies.
  • Provide a method for evaluating the Foundation’s Investments and serve as a tool for learning.
  • Simplify reporting for grantees.
  • Complement but do not replace the knowledge and expertise of the program officers.
  • Inform but do not serve as the only criteria for making funding decisions. While alignment will be an important factor in grant-making decisions, they are not the sole criteria.
  • Are not exact. Data collection and reporting methods may vary.

Lessons Learned

The Foundation is an organization committed to learning from both our successes and our failures. One important aspect of evaluation is the ability to see what works and what doesn’t. From there, we try to determine why something did or did not work. By answering these questions, we are able to continually improve our planning, preparation and grant making.

Each day allows us to learn new lessons to become more impactful as a strategic grant making organization. As a result of 25 years of grant making, the Foundation has learned some key lessons that will guide us both now and in the future:

  • Be very clear about what the Foundation wants to accomplish with each grant.
  • Engage in grant-making approaches that help ensure (and/or nurture) locally driven sustainable change that addresses locally defined needs.
  • Recognize that sustainable change takes time.
  • Carefully match grant strategies with anticipated grant outcomes.
  • Fully understand the context for the work, the capacity of current and/or potential partners and the level of readiness for change.

Theory of Change

The Kansas Health Foundation is guided by its Theory of Change. Click below to see the full document.

KHF Theory of Change

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