Performance Measurement in Perspective: An exploratory study of Australian foundations’ approaches to performance measurement

Leat, Diana, Williamson, Alexandra, & Scaife, Wendy A. (2014) Performance Measurement in Perspective: An exploratory study of Australian foundations’ approaches to performance measurement. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD. [Working Paper]


Performance measurement in Australian philanthropic foundations is a hot topic. Foundation staff and board members are concerned with striking the right balance between their need for information with which to assess the effectiveness of their grant-making programs, and the costs in both time and money for grantees. Influenced by normative pressures, the increasing size and professionalism of the Australian philanthropic sector, and trends from the U.S.A and the U.K, foundations are talking amongst themselves, seeking expert advice and training, consulting with grantees and trying different approaches.
Many resources examine methods of data collection, measurement or analysis. Our study instead treads into less charted but important territory: the motivations and values that are shaping the debate about performance measurement. In a series of 40 interviews with foundations from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, we asked whether they felt under pressure to measure performance and if so, why. We queried whether everyone in the foundation shared the same views on the purposes of performance measurement; and the ways in which the act of performance measurement changed their grant-making, their attitude to risk, their relationship with grantees and their collaborations with other funders. Unsurprisingly, a very diverse set of approaches to performance measurement were revealed.

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ID Code: 75993
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Philanthropy, Philanthropic foundations, Performance Measurement, Nonprofit, Australia
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 10 Sep 2014 00:18
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2015 05:08

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