June Gothberg on Perfect Gifts for an Evaluator

Right now many of us are making our list and checking it twice. Much advice exists for what to buy teachers, mothers, or your favorite engineer, but I couldn’t find any suggestions on what to buy an evaluator. I’ve compiled some interesting ideas you may want to consider for that amazing evaluator in your life. I invite you to add yours in the comment section!

Hot Tips:

Free creative gift ideas

  • Personalize a song.  If you need inspiration there are several examples on AEA’s YouTube channel including the 2011 Evaluation Pie and Genuine Evaluation Jingle. Kylie Hutchinson at Community Solutions has remixed traditional holiday lyrics with an evaluation twist. I highly recommend The Evaluator is coming to Town.
  • Create a cartoon. You can cartoon any evaluation experience or insider joke. For extra motivation see Chris Lysy’s evaluation cartoons at freshspectrum.  A few of my favorites are It’s Copy Protected and PowerPoint is not the Null.
  • Create a poem or short story. Roger Miranda’s Eva the Evaluator is a good example of a short story that evaluator’s love.
  • Create a handmade book. You could create your own book of their favorite evaluation quotes, event photos,  or aea365 blog posts.

Not-so-free gift ideas

  • Create a personalized website. With many free webhosts and inexpensive domain registrations, you could create a special website for under $20. This could be for a first-time business website or a site just for fun. One year I created a happybirthdaytodad.com website with pages of photos, dad’s favorite websites, websites he might enjoy but hadn’t found, links to YouTube videos of his favorite music, etc.
  • Create your own gift. Go to your local t-shirt company to create an individualized product or use an online service such as Zazzle or Café Press. Here you upload your own graphic onto a product or purchase one premade. A quick search of the terms evaluator, evaluate, and evaluation found hundreds of premade products: I heart evaluators t-shirt, mouse pads with quotes such as John Singer Sargent’s “I do not judge, I chronicle”, or how about a baby bib that says My life is program evaluation.
  • Give the gift of membership. Did you AEA membership rates increase after December 31, 2012? Give your favorite evaluator an AEA yearly membership.
  • Give a book. I did a search of the term evaluation on Amazon. With a return rate of 140,715 on the topic you should be able to find something.
  • Give a gift card. When all else fails, give a gift card. You could add a twist and create one for helpful things like a day of strategic planning, transcription, or whatever your trade. GiftRocket and GiftCard.com are sites that let you create customized gift cards.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 thoughts on “June Gothberg on Perfect Gifts for an Evaluator”

  1. Shopping for an evaluator who is a solo practitioner? Here are some simple ideas to generate more than a note of thanks. Hey, you might even get a virtual hug from an appreciative colleague you’ve kept in mind.

    – Red ink pens to use when proofreading draft reports and spotting overlooked typos (Pilot and Stabilo fine tip pens are my favorite).

    – Classic, yellow highlighters still work wonders to mark favorite passages when perusing the latest hard copy of the American Journal of Evaluation.

    – A set of Mr. Sketch fruit-scented markers. They are sooo much better than toxic-smelling one for jotting down BIG ideas gained while facilitating small-group discussions.

    – A business card holder to match one’s personal or business brand or simply to easily find among so many other tools of the trade tossed in a business case or tote bag.

    – A portable back-up drive to save a year’s worth of e-files. It saves $$$, time, and the headaches from dying hardware and lost files.

    – Photo or certificate frames to hold images of life beyond evaluation that continue to inspire one’s best work!

    – A gift card to a coffee, tea, or ice-cream shop for a get together to brainstorm or plan a joint venture.

    Shop local, boost the economy, and do not undermine gifts of time, camaraderie, and friendly exchanges throughout the year — all priceless.

    Happy and Healthy 2013!

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