The Youth Endowment Fund exists to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence. We do this by finding out what works and building a movement to put this knowledge into practice. To do this, we not only need to find and fund great projects, we also need to evaluate them as rigorously as possible to see the long-term difference they make.
Evaluating a project requires time, commitment and resources to do it well. This means that our funding might not be right for every organisation working to keep children and young people safe. We’re looking to work with partners who are committed to understanding more about their programme and who are keen to work with us and an independent evaluator.
Together, by learning more about what works, we can make a real difference to children affected by violence.
Is our funding and evaluations right for you?
To make sure that we’re learning as much as possible from our partnership, our grantees need to:
Co-design the project with an independent evaluator before being awarded funding
We don’t expect you to have a clear idea of how your programme could be evaluated when you apply. But you will have to work with us to shape your project so that it can be robustly evaluated by one of our approved evaluation partners.
If your grant application is shortlisted, we’ll appoint an independent evaluator to co-design the research elements of the project. Designing an evaluation normally requires your proposed project plan to be adapted in some way. This may involve, for instance, adjusting some elements of delivery or delivering your programme on a larger scale than you initially proposed. Before we agree to fund your project and start deliver, the plan you’ve developed with your evaluator will form the basis for a final funding proposal, which our Grants and Evaluation Committee will review.
Going through this co-design stage may take up to three months and doesn’t guarantee final approval. For more information about our application process, please see our grantee guidance.
Commit to consistently deliver the project throughout the evaluation
So that we can effectively evaluate your project, it’s important that the activities don’t change mid-way through delivery. If you do need to modify your project in any way, you’ll need to discuss and agree it with us and your evaluator first.
Help your independent evaluator to carry out their research
- Understanding and communicating the evaluation requirements to your stakeholders, which includes the children participating in your project and their parents or guardians.
- Collecting regular monitoring data from the children taking part in your project. For example, that might include sharing and collecting questionnaires or surveys.
- Communicating regularly with the evaluator and collaborating on any issues that you experience when you’re delivering your project.
Support our long-term commitment to finding out what works
To find out what works, we need to understand the difference a project makes over time. That means we need to collect and store sensitive personal data so that we can follow the future progress of the children who’ve been supported by our projects. The long-term follow-up requires collecting, storing, and archiving data about the participants in your project, so we can see if your project has helped to prevent violence. While the main responsibility for conducting research and storing personal information will be with the independent evaluators, it’s important that you’re happy to support them.
Please ensure you read our Guidance for projects and evaluators, available here.
Take part in a randomised control trial (RCT), if it’s the right evaluation design for your project.
We want to fund the most robust types of evaluation so that we’re confident that we’re finding out what works best to support children and young people. In some cases a randomised control trial (RCT) would be the best way to do that. In an RCT one group receives the intervention while the other group doesn’t. By looking at both groups before and after you work to support young people, we can see the impact your programme has made.
Recognise our commitment to transparency, which means we publish every evaluation we commission
The collective aim of both the YEF and our evaluation partners is to give each programme the best possible chance of success. We want to make sure we’re learning as much as we possibly can. We might not always find that a programme has a positive effect on those children and young people most at risk of becoming involved in violence. But that’s still helpful knowledge, which contributes to our collective understanding. That’s why we’re committed to publishing the results from every project that we fund, even if it turns out that a programme didn’t have the impact we expected.
Please note, the above requirements are applicable to our themed grant rounds and targeted projects, there may be additional requirements for our other funding opportunities.
How your project can benefit
Our funding covers both the delivery costs of your project and the cost of the evaluation. You don’t need to worry about factoring in the evaluation cost when applying for funding, your appointed evaluator will do this on your behalf during the co-design stage in the application process.
Support from our team
We want to give each project we fund the best possible chance of success. That’s why you’ll be assigned a YEF Programme Manager who will be there to support you, from the co-design stage in the application right through to the end of your funding. If you ever have any problems or challenges during delivery, we’ll work closely with you and your evaluator to find a shared solution.
Support from an expert team to improve your project
We’re looking to work with partners who are committed to understanding more about their projects and strive to improve their services. Organisations that are awarded funding will benefit from work closely with one of our evaluators. In the co-design stage, they’ll help you refine your project plan and delivery. This may include evaluating your theory of change, looking at the evidence to see where improvements could be made, evaluating the change you hope to make and supporting you to effectively measure your impact. This expert support won’t just improve your YEF funded project, it’ll help build the research capacity of your organisation and support your wider work.
Peer reviewed evaluation of your project
At the end of your funding, a peer reviewed evaluation report of your project will be published on our website. This will provide you with a comprehensive evaluation of your project and its impact by an independent and trusted academic or research institution (to see a list of our current Evaluator Panel, please click here).
You could use this report:
- To support other funding applications to demonstrate your impact.
- To provide research or data for external reports and marketing materials (for example, your annual report or impact reports).
- To demonstrate the impact you’re having to your stakeholders.
- To support your operational planning to make improvements to your delivery and processes.
Working for change together
Our strategy outlines our ambition to help scale up what works. We won’t be able to do this for all of the projects we work with. But for some, when an activity is shown to be effective and where there are more opportunities to learn, we’ll look to expand it. That might involve supporting you to get funding from other partners, or we could directly support you to expand your existing provision or replicate an effective programme in new locations.
This means that, when our initial grant agreement comes to an end, we might consider regranting. To make sure we’re doing that in a way that’s fair, consistent and in support of our strategy, each of these decisions will be guided by the principles we’ve set out here.
- Download our Grantee guidance here.
- Download our Guidance for projects and evaluators here.