Grantmakers often struggle to make evaluation and learning meaningful to anyone outside their organizations. Not only is evaluation conducted primarily for internal purposes, but it is usually completed by grantmakers entirely on their own — with no outside learning partners except perhaps an external evaluator — and provides little value and may even be burdensome to grantees or other stakeholders.
"Pay for Success” (PFS) has emerged as a strategy for seeking cost-effective solutions that can deliver better outcomes for communities. PFS financing and grantmaking models can direct taxpayer dollars to interventions that have demonstrated success in delivering social and economic outcomes, whereby an investor contracts with a service provider and agrees to pay for specific outcomes the service provider achieves.
Moving the needle on critical social problems often doesn’t happen without advocacy and policy playing an important role, and funders can play a bigger role in this area than many people realize. In this session we’ll hear from the Alliance for Justice (AFJ) about the key benefits foundations gain when they include advocacy strategies in their work, and the top pieces of advice from nonprofit advocates to foundations. Content for the session is based on AFJ’s new "Funding Change Playbook.”
In 2015, downtown Jacksonville saw the grand opening of the Jessie Ball duPont Center, a renovated library that provides offices for nonprofits and work and gathering spaces for the community in an energy-efficient environment with state-of-the-art technology. The Center was made possible through an innovative community investment approach by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, which holds the Center as an asset in its investment portfolio. The Fund has chosen to invest a small portion of its assets for the benefit of the community rather than for the rate of return on the endowment.
A number of arts and non-arts funders have recognized the power of arts and culture to help tackle community development challenges and opportunities. In this session we’ll gain some insights into what is being learned from a national effort to develop tools and methods to better understand how, and under what conditions, the integration of arts and culture into comprehensive community development can contribute to economic, social, physical and cultural changes that generate greater opportunity for people in low-income neighborhoods.
Funders often struggle with how to help their grantees increase their communications know-how. To address that need, over the past two years a group of members of the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers developed and tested a program to build their grantees’ communications capacity. The capacity-building program is comprised of training and tailored follow-up to help the organizations plan specific communications, goals, target their audiences, and implement tactics that immediately benefit the organization.
Generations Together is many things: a curriculum that could be followed step-by-step for a comprehensive learning experience, a collection of resources to tap when the time is right, or an ongoing source of inspiration and ideas. It was designed for giving families at every phase—whether you are just starting out or have been active for decades and generations.
PACE Center for Girls is a community-based, gender-responsive alternative to institutionalization or incarceration for girls with high-risk behaviors, with 19 nonresidential locations across the state of Florida. The PACE model balances academics and social services in a holistic, strength-based culture, with the intention of promoting protective factors and mitigating risk factors for delinquency among girls. 30% of girls enter PACE with a prior arrest, yet 92% of girls completing the program had no further involvement with the justice system a year later.
Jen Okwudili and John Fisher of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation presented information on personalized learning the various forms it may take. They shared the BMGF’s work in personalized learning including where the foundation is making investments around the country (Pinellas and Lake Counties in Florida). The approach will vary by grantee and most are in the process of developing their plans.
Jacksonville Public Education Fund President Trey Csar presented on a program of JPEF which is about to be released in the community. JPEF is to providing the community information and perspective on the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) and results which will be released shortly. They are partnering with a number of other organizations and are finalizing a toolbox of resources which communicate consistent messaging. The goal is to frame the situation and upcoming assessment results in understandable terms with the underlying message that even if scores go down, that’s because of changes to the system and assessments, not a drop off in knowledge level by students. They offered the assets which they developed to other EAG members who may be interested in doing the same or similar programs in their community.