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The Fund's Performance as a Grantmaker, 1992–1999

Executive Vice President's Report from the 2000 Annual Report

Since 1992, through a selective and labor intensive process, the Fund has commissioned independent reviews of 56 projects and 14 larger programs, or approximately one-fourth of the large projects it funds annually. Completed grant reports and program reviews have assessed not only the work of grantees but also the foundation's own grantmaking activities. In addition, each year the Fund's president prepares a report to the board of directors on progress in achieving programmatic goals, and the board conducts a comprehensive assessment of the Fund's work every five years. This year, at the urging of the board of directors, the Fund's managers decided to develop a comprehensive performance review system—and then to test it by rating all sizeable grants approved and completed between November 1992 and December 1999, a total of 204 projects representing grants of approximately $56 million. The ratings and associated comments, along with summary lessons from completed grant reports and program reviews, were then assembled for use by the board of directors at a retreat in July 2000 to assess past performance and help steer the Fund's course over the next five years.

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The Fund's Performance as a Grantmaker, 1992–1999, John E. Craig, Jr., The Commonwealth Fund, February 2001