Since 1996 the Bruner Foundation has focused on initiatives and partnerships that seek to increase effectiveness in the non-profit service delivery sector by strengthening internal evaluation capacity and the ability to use evaluative thinking in a wide range of organizational areas. This work is based on the premise that more effective organizations are better able to serve their clients and fulfill their missions.

One key aspect of effective organizations is people on staff with appropriate evaluation skills and systems for sustaining those skills. The existence of internal evaluation capacity not only strengthens programs and services to clients, but also allows the organization itself to use evaluation skills in other management areas such as governance, human resources, fund development, information technology, marketing/communication, strategic planning which have a direct impact on its mission.

Through the Rochester Effectiveness Partnership (REP), Bruner Foundation provided one successful model of building internal evaluation capacity. Its follow-up ETHOS project demonstrated how evaluation skills could be used across organizational areas, leading to the use of more evaluative thinking.

The Foundation continues to seek active partnerships to continue its effectiveness initiatives.