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Grants Best Practices

Please reference the following information addressing continuous improvement efforts, recommendations, and quality grants practices. 

State Resources

Federal Resources

  • Grants Performance: Federal Reporting Requirements
    U.S. Government Accountability Office
    GAO-13-552 - June 24, 2013
  • Grants Management: Improved Planning, Coordination, and Communication Needed to Strengthen Reform Efforts
    U.S. Government Accountability Office
    GAO-13-383 - May 23, 2013
  • Grants Management: Oversight of Selected States' Disbursement of Federal Funds Addresses Timelines and Administrative Allowances
    U.S. Government Accountability Office
    GAO-13-392 - April 16, 2013
  • Grants to State and Local Governments: An Overview of Federal Funding Levels and Selected Challenges
    U.S. Government Accountability Office
    GAO-12-1016 - September 25, 2012
  • Grants Management: Action Needed to Improve the Timeliness of Grant Closeouts by Federal Agencies
    U.S. Government Accountability Office
    GAO-12-360 - April 16, 2012
  • Nonprofit Sector: Treatment and Reimbursement of Indirect Costs Vary among Grants, and Depend Significantly on Federal, State, and Local Government Practices
    U.S. Government Accountability Office
    GAO-10-477 - May 18, 2010

Cross-Sector Resources


  • AEA Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation
    American Evaluation Association
    A brief overview on the importance of cultural competence in evaluation.
    AEA Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation

  • Beginner Evaluation Guides
    Gene Shackman Ph. D. The Global Social Change Research Project
    A series of beginner friendly pamphlets on evaluation basics.
    Beginner Evaluation Pamphlets

  • Better Evaluation
    Many evaluation tools and resources, including the Rainbow Framework which organizes over 300 evaluation approaches into 7 clusters.
    Better Evaluation

  • Gather Credible Evidence
    Program Performance and Evaluation Office-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Choosing data sources for an evaluation and creating a data source table for an evaluation plan.
    Gather Credible Evidence

  • Logic Models
    Program Development and Evaluation-University of Wisconsin Extension
    Information about making logic models, free online training in logic models, logic model templates, and sample logic models.
    Logic Models

  • Lucid Chart
    Inexpensive, easy to use online flow chart design tool that is helpful for making logic models.
    Lucid Chart

  • Minnesota Evaluation Association (MNEA)
    Info about MNEA events and trainings, member directory, and evaluation resources.
    Minnesota Evaluation Association

  • Program Evaluation: Is it Really That Hard?
    Dr. Vanessa S. O’Neal, Founder of the National Society of Grant Writing Professionals, Inc.
    Tips on writing an evaluation plan for a grant proposal from a Federal grant reviewer.
    Program Evaluation: Is it Really That Hard?

  • Utilization Focused Evaluation Checklist
    Michael Q. Patton
    A useful checklist for planning and conducting utilization focused evaluations.

  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook
    W.K. Kellogg Foundation
    A useful basic guide to designing and conducting basic program evaluations
    W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaulation Handbook

  • Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic Logic Model
    Authenticity Consulting
    A basic guide to creating logic models
    Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic Logic Model

  • What is Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement?
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    A broad overview of program evaluation, with useful links to other resources
    EPA/ESD - What Is Program Evaluation?