Back in 2007, the Foundation worked with Blueprint Research & Design on a logic model and a corresponding program structure for our work. We launched our current program areas and grantmaking priorities on July 31st of that year with the intention of getting our feet wet for two years, stopping to reflect, and then mapping out plans to get more deeply involved in these program areas and social movements.
As part of the reflection process, we decided early on to set up an evaluation of our programs. We genuinely aim to be responsive to community needs, and sought the “unvarnished truth” that an externally-conducted evaluation provides. We were particularly interested in the efficacy of our interactions with nonprofits, and the impact of our support on organizations’ work and outcomes.
Now that two years have passed, we have collected a host of internal observations about what we’re doing and how to do it better. Earlier in the summer, Blueprint completed their external evaluation of our work, which reinforces many of the same findings and feelings we have about ourselves (btw, it’s hard to write about this stuff without seeming like a navel-gazer).
Many thanks to the nonprofit partners (formerly known as “grantees”) who participated in the evaluation and provided useful and honest feedback to us. It should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that we look forward to proactively incorporating changes that will make our partnerships stronger and smoother. And in the future, we next look to do an outcomes evaluation to examine what kind of broader effect our involvement is having in the community.