The Nationwide Foundation has commissioned Cass Business School's Centre for Charity Effectiveness to undertake a four-year independent evaluation of its new grant programmes.
The foundation will offer 10 grants in September worth £300,000 over three years to charities that provide financial and housing help to disadvantaged older people and survivors of domestic abuse.
The Centre for Charity Effectiveness, which was appointed after a tender process, will evaluate how effective the foundation is as a funder.
Lisa Parker, chief executive of the foundation, said: "We intend to share the findings with other funders where lessons for grant makers can be learned across the sector.
"Charities often tell us that funders ask them to provide evidence that their work makes a difference, yet few funders seem prepared to fund evaluations that will provide such evidence, creating a chicken and egg effect."