What Grant Writers Need to Know about Finance and Program Evaluation - We Raise Foundation

What Grant Writers Need to Know about Finance and Program Evaluation


Grant writers must be able to write eloquently and persuasively about their organization’s mission and programs. But they also have to know finance and program evaluation, too, and in small organizations, sometimes they’re the front-line person answering questions about those topics. Have you ever looked at a program budget that seemed inadequate for the program it’s supposed to cover? Do you wonder which finance statements are which? Have you ever had to make up evaluation metrics on your own? It’s critical that grant writers have a level of comfort with finance and program evaluation in order to do their jobs well.

In this webinar, you will:

  • Learn more about the different types of finance documents that foundations request.
  • See examples of how to answer finance questions when your finances don’t look so good.
  • Learn how to construct an accurate, realistic program budget.
  • Get an overview of various evaluation techniques.
  • Review terms such as goal, outcome, output, objective, and metric.
  • Learn how to work with program staff to develop a good answer to that “how do you measure success” question that funders ask.


Laura Jansen has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including 13 years as a grant writer. She began her career as the box office manager and children’s theatre producer at Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Ill., and continued working in the arts at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Urban Gateways in Chicago, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery, Ala. Jansen’s consulting career has covered a range of causes, including the arts, education, youth development, homelessness/housing, and LGBTQ populations.An accomplished grant writer, Jansen has written hundreds of successfully-funded proposals. Highlights include Impact 100, the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (both for Albany Park Theater Project), and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from the National Science Foundation (for Project Exploration). In addition, Jansen has worked with clients to develop fundraising plans, train board and staff, hire new staff, and effectively tell their organizational story.


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