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The Learning Conference 2011

June 6–7, 2011

Baltimore, MD

Pre-Conference Session: Evaluation in Philanthropy: Five Approaches to Effective Learning

Monday, June 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM–11:00 AM EDT
Composite Room (Third Floor)
Session description

A pioneering group of grantmakers is redefining the role of evaluation in philanthropy — it’s not solely about tracking the results and the impact of past philanthropic investments. It is also about learning how to do a better job of achieving our goals moving forward. In this hands-on workshop offered by GEO, participants will explore five key approaches to learning that many grantmakers are adopting in order to effectively improve programs and results, and learn practical tools for how they can build these approaches into their own work. Advanced registration is required. Please note: This session is good for people who are new to evaluation and learning.

Participant learning goals

• Learn about the five key learning and evaluation approaches that grantmakers are adopting to improve their programs and results
• Consider how these approaches can be applied in your work

Intended learning level

Exploration — exploration of ideas you’ve probably heard before in a way that builds further knowledge and understanding


Leonor Alfonso, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Web site

Speaker Biography

Leonor Alfonso is senior program specialist at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, where she contributes to the development of content for GEO conferences, publications and new programming. Before joining GEO, she was program associate at Independent Sector. Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., Alfonso was director of planning and evaluation for a non-governmental organization supporting rural development in the Dominican Republic. She also worked with community-based organizations on the Dominican-Haitian border in building their management capacities. Alfonso holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, psychology and business administration from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Milano the New School.

J McCray, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Web site

Speaker Biography

J McCray is chief operating officer at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. He is responsible for overseeing the internal operations of GEO, including financial management and internal evaluation. Previously he was a development program manager at the National Prostate Cancer Coalition. Prior to joining NPCC, McCray was a state-certified case manager at the Council on Aging of St. Lucie County, Fla. McCray holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in nonprofit organization management from The George Washington University.

Session Materials