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Engaging National Expertise for Evaluation

Adding to its capacity-building strategy in recent years, The Cameron Foundation has sought expertise from independent evaluators for some of its larger grant investments. During 2016-2017, the Foundation enlisted consultant Scott M. Hebert to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of Virginia’s Gateway Region (VGR), a regional economic development organization serving all seven of the localities in Cameron’s service area. To date, Cameron has awarded $3,151,500 to VGR for capacity building, operations, and programming.

Overall, for the 10-year funding period studied, Hebert’s team concluded: “VGR has undergone a major transformation during the decade since The Cameron Foundation’s first grant to the organization.” Through an active program of domestic and international marketing, facilitated by Cameron grants, the study determined that VGR has dramatically broadened its reach and the region’s global visibility. Adding to the analysis, the evaluation also made a number of recommendations to strengthen VGR and increase its impact.