Ballet Creole performs in Thomson Memorial Park, by Tania Fitzpatrick (2017)

Ongoing evaluation can be an effective tool for long term sustainability. It serves your mission and goals and your ability to attract resources in the future. The best time to think about evaluating your project is at the planning stage. When you envision the event and are thinking of your desired outcomes, ask yourself, “How will we know if we’ve met our goals?”.

The effort to evaluate a project or activity is well worth the information you will get out, and an evaluation plan can be simple and tailored to the resources of your organization. Evaluation will help you to:

  • Better understand how different people experience the activity
  • Think of ways to improve your next event
  • Focus on what’s working and what’s not
  • Share your findings with stakeholders including funders


Step One: Identify Project Objectives, Indicators and Stakeholders  

Develop Your Evaluation Plan. It’s a good idea to develop your evaluation plan at the same time as your event plan. To develop an evaluation plan, you need to know what your objectives are, what indicators you will use to measure your objectives and who your stakeholders are. Objectives for your evaluation will be...

Step Two: Assess Evaluation Resources

Gathering Information. After you have laid out your objectives and indicators and identified your stakeholders, the next step is to figure out how you can gather information and how many resources you have to carry out the evaluation plan. Resources include...

Step Three: Decide on Evaluation Methods and Tools

Best Methods. Frequently people wonder what evaluation approaches are the best ways to measure success, but it is not an either/or question. While some approaches work better than others in different circumstances, you don’t have to choose between...

Step Four: Gathering Data and Analyzing Information

Coding and Finding Themes. When you have finished transcribing or documenting the information you’ve gathered, you can move to coding, which is a way of identifying common threads or themes. If you have structured your questions according to themes, they will...

Step Five: Create Report, Distribute and Next Steps

The arts have much to offer communities. They bring people together and offer the opportunity to engage in ideas and to experience spaces transformed by beauty. They encourage people to explore their own creativity and enliven their neighbourhoods and...