program, the client’s as well as the stakeholders is important. As a grant writer it would be important to consider all sides of the plan. Knowing the goals and mission for the program as well as the desires of the stakeholders and their desires to put their money to good use is beneficial to a well written proposal. So many times the proposal or grant will lean towards only the needs of the program leaving out the needs of the funders. Finally the success of the overall program not only depends on customer satisfaction, but also on approval of various stakeholders.
Let us begin by defining “stakeholders”, as a group of people who have an interest in said organization. Without funding the program will be helpless in providing and achieving the programs goals. Understanding and meeting the needs of the stakeholders or funding source will help one in developing a well thought out program. Making the changes may be challenging but one most stay focused by considering not just the program, the stakeholders but the clients and community as well. Encouraging management, staff, and stakeholders to take part in the development of how the program will use evaluation tools allows the funders to take part and have a say in areas that they may have expertise.
When seeking funding from outside sources one needs to realize that having a say in how the money is used will produce a trust factor that could ensure future funding. Many stakeholders may have an executive that purpose is to assist programs with evaluations. This not only can help the program cut evaluation costs it allows the stakeholders obtain information for future funding sources. Normal expectations of stakeholders are simply to know they are not wasting their money. Then need to know and expect that the monies allotted will be used wisely and that good works and results are being accomplished. Stakeholder’s power can vary according to their say and level of involvement in the program.
Evaluations are very important when it comes to writing grants. Having a good evaluation plan again is the best way to secure the funding needed for the program. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis will create a strong evaluation tool for the program. Evaluation of the services offered and performed will give both the program and stakeholders a clear picture of what is working and those services that might need to be deleted or revamped. Evaluations will allow the program to look at what was the most cost-effective method of providing a service or program. A well designed and organized evaluation plan will serve as a guide for staff to oversee and evaluate each other, services provided and with instructions on how the plan will be used, and instrumented into the program. Evaluation plans will show stakeholders what is to be evaluated and how the evaluation will be conducted.
Funding agencies want to see evaluations reports and at times many want to participate in the evaluation process. They want the most and the best for their dollar. In human service programs need cooperation of the stakeholders. From the Board of Directors, employees, vendors, client, and community there must be direct, or indirect interaction. Most agencies offering funding have guidelines in what they expect for grant seekers. Engaging and involving the stakeholders ensures that they are being understood and feedback is being given on a regular and timely basis. Sometimes, negotiating with stakeholders to formulate a clear and logical description will bring benefits before data are available to evaluate program effectiveness.
The Cleveland Foundation is a funding institution that works with human service organizations. My chosen scenario is The Madison Children’s Hospital is a perfect candidate for a grant from Cleveland. This organization assists with charitable organizations, that focus on educational, medical, and medical research institutions with the purpose of improving the lives of those in need. “The foundation requires all potential grant applicants to submit a grant inquiry, outlining basic information about the proposed project. Grant inquiries can be submitted at any time. If it is determined that your project fits the foundation’s guidelines, you will be asked within a few weeks to submit a full application” (Cleveland). The Cleveland Foundation has funds to award to organizations from a few hundred dollars to four million dollars based upon the needs of the program.
In awarding a grant the Cleveland Foundations expectations will play a major role in the program policies. Evaluation reports will be required with should include: date of commencement, the program schedule, up to date budget reports, performance evaluations of staff, client control should be done on a regular basis. The program must adhere to the standards of the funding organization.
In conclusion stakeholders play a very important role in the development of a human service program. Without stakeholders the program may not be as successful as it may have intended to be. The needs and expectations of the stakeholder need to be addressed in a proper manner to ensure a long term relationship and success of the program. Having a healthy relationship with the stakeholders of any human service program enhances the services offered through the ongoing monitoring of those in charge. Updated information ensures that the clients are benefitted by the services offered and feedback is continuous. Meeting the needs of the clients and those coming for service is the priority of any human service organization. Being able to meet those needs will come from a well planned program that includes every department and service.
- Free Management Library (1997-2009). Basic Guide to Program Evaluation.
- Retrieved September 10, 2009 from: http://managementhelp.org/evaluatn/fnl_eval.htm
- The Cleveland Foundation (2009). Retrieved on September 9, 2009 from: http://www.clevelandfoundation.org/
- Subramanian Ram (1998). “Meeting the expectations of key stakeholders”. Retrieved September 10, 2009 from: