Hiring an external evaluator

This resource helps you match an external evaluator to your needs through a set of practical steps, prompts, and tips.

Focusing on supporting not-for-profits, foundations and their partners the document guides you through the process of engaging an external evaluator in clear steps:

  • Preparing to work with an evaluator
    • Know your purpose and audience
    • Distinguishing between research and evaluation
    • Choosing an evaluation approach that serves your purpose
    • Assess your readiness
    • Assess the need to outsource
  • Choosing an evaluator
    • Look for technical expertise, and then look beyond it
  • Developing the evaluation plan
    • Right-size the project and your expectations
    • Plan and budget for knowledge sharing
  • Building authentic partnership
    • Expect your evaluator to seek your input
    • Treat your evaluator as a mission-critical partner


S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. (2018). Hiring an external evaluator. Retrieved from: https://sdbjrfoundation.org/effectiveness/consultants/