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Developmental Evaluation: Learning and Evaluation Network Discussion

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At MCF’s 2023 Annual Conference in February, one of the most popular workshops was presented by our peers at The Minneapolis Foundation about their work using developmental evaluation. Join this virtual gathering of the MCF Learning and Evaluation Peer Network to dig into the concept, hear how it’s being implemented in a variety of contexts, ask questions, and get tips for your own work.

The conversation will kick-off with a brief overview from The Minneapolis Foundation. We’ll quickly shift to engage one another in mutual learning, inquiry and sharing.

What is Developmental Evaluation? Traditional approaches to evaluation examine cost, benefits, best practices, replicability, and other quantitative data that is often extracted from nonprofits. In contrast, developmental evaluation is grounded in systems thinking and supports innovation amidst complexity by collecting real-time feedback and data in ways that lead to more informed ongoing decision-making.

How has The Minneapolis Foundation used Developmental Evaluation? The Minneapolis Foundation launched the OneMPLS Fund in 2019 as a collective giving fund designed to be responsive to emerging community needs. Since that time, this responsive fund has pivoted variously to meet current needs. The Minneapolis Foundation has partnered with TerraLuna Collaborative to engage in a developmental evaluation of the fund.

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