After an activity, the members are usually ready to celebrate success. Before the celebration, however, all of the members should take time to evaluate the activity before they leave.
In order to evaluate a program, project or the performance of our organization over the course of an entire year, we need to determine in advance what goals we are trying to accomplish. For project or program goals we might be trying to attract a certain number of people, raise a certain level of revenue, create an awareness, or involve a certain percentage of our organization’s members. In evaluating a year, we may consider a membership level that we want to be at, the success of annual programs and projects that we do, the experiences that our members have in the organization and the impact that we hope to have on campus. Whatever it is that you will be using to measure your levels of accomplishment, it is important to determine them in advance and to involve as many members as possible in deciding what they will be.
Evaluations can be done in writing or through a discussion. In either case, keeping a written summary on file is very important. Some areas to consider in evaluating are:
- What made this project/program or year a success (to what extent were goals met)?
- What could be done to improve this project/program or year?
- What additional recommendations would you like to make to members who will be involved with this program/project next year?
- Any other information you would like to include.
Evaluations should be conducted as soon as possible after a program/project is completed or at the end of the year if you are evaluating the year. They should involve all relevant parties – members, officers, those who attended or participated and your organization's adviser. Successors in your organization will appreciate the thoughtfulness and help that you will be providing them by doing a good job of evaluating your efforts. It will allow them to see the world from your shoulders, rather than from the ground!