If food can get people to meetings, maybe it can get people interested in evaluation findings, too. Introducing, the Findings Cookie.
The recipe is pretty straightforward, though you’ll want to adjust the number of servings for your audience. I messed up a lot on the first several, so best to give yourself advance time to prototype your cookie before you have to serve it to a stakeholder. For instance, my oven only needed 4 minutes, not the recommended 5-6.
I inserted folded statements of findings from the evaluation, rather than fortunes. Each cookie held a different statement so that the audience was encouraged to open (and eat) them all.
We go to the effort of some trial and error and burnt sugar because the novelty of the situation will draw out enthusiasm and elicit discussion among those evaluation stakeholders seated around the table (when their mouths aren’t full of cookie).
Though be careful of how you frame this. When I ran my idea past a friend, he said, “Most evaluations are so poorly designed and executed anyway that people might as well use a fortune cookie to determine findings.” Uh, not really what you want to project when you bring a plate of cookies into the room, right? So lead with the message that: These are not fortune cookies. Inside, you will not find your fortune, plucked randomly from a basket at a factory. These are Findings Cookies. You’ll crack one open to discover something we learned about your program performance. (You could probably make them Recommendations Cookies, too!)
Notice how much room I have on those tiny little strips of paper? Not much, yo! You’ll have to work to encapsulate your findings into something that can fit in about 1.5″. Need some help? Check out the webinar I gave this summer on Message and try the 6-word presentation story activity I suggest there. The bottom line is that each finding should be tweet-able.