The Ian Potter Foundation (IPF) has long been a pioneer and leader in supporting the arts and cultural sector, encouraging and facilitating excellence, innovation, creativity and capacity building since its inception in 1964.
Recognising that grant recipients often experience difficulty in reporting the full extent of their impact, IPF has also taken a leadership role in encouraging good evaluation practice amongst Australian arts organisations (including identifying a pool of preferred evaluators).
Last Thursday, IPF held their inaugural Arts Evaluation Forum with 20 enthusiastic participants including a mix of arts organisations, government, philanthropic foundations and evaluation specialists. With a strong focus on practical tips, the group discussed a broad range of topics such as outcomes measurement, common issues faced by the sector and best practice processes.
Our Australian Director, Georgia Moore, was invited to present to the forum on tangible strategies for meaningful, easy and useful evaluation. Making evaluation meaningful is tied to knowing the right questions to ask. In order to make art that achieves important strategic objectives—such as empowering, challenging and inspiring audiences—organisations need to measure these objectives to better understand their impact. Evaluation gives the greatest value to organisations who’re educated in interpreting their results and able to communicate impact simply and effectively to different stakeholders.
The Arts Evaluation Forum highlighted the need for evaluation to fit easily into normal daily operations, for a greater number and diversity of staff to take an interest in evaluation, and for there to be a stronger link between the results and decision-making in areas other than marketing. We thank the Ian Potter Foundation for the wonderful opportunity to discuss these important issues and learn from the experiences of cultural organisations.
We welcome all ongoing dialogue and feedback as we continue to develop and evolve the Culture Counts platform to support the evaluation needs of the sector. Contact us for a chat today.