We know that our impact as a foundation ultimately rests on the strength of our local health ecosystem for our vision and mission to be fulfilled. Aligned with our strategic plan, we are tracking our progress towards that vision and ensuring our learning and evaluation approach reflects our goals and actions to advance racial equity and, in turn, achieve health equity in our service region.
In collaboration with health leaders in the region, we developed a framework that helps us assess how our work is creating change, addressing needs and achieving measurable impact. We are influenced by the Equitable Evaluation Initiative and are committed to the principles outlined in its Equitable Evaluation Framework (TM), which challenges philanthropy to evolve its evaluation practices to be “in service of and contributing to equity.”
This framework helps us assess how well our “talk” aligns with our “walk” by:
Hover to learn more about each component of our framework
The impact we want to see with our grantmaking and how we will measure progress
If our strategic plan is our north star, then a theory of change is our map.
We know that our impact as a foundation ultimately rests on the strength of our local health ecosystem, which allows us to fulfill our vision. In alignment with our strategic plan, we are tracking our progress toward that vision via our general operating support.
This ensures our learning and evaluation approach reflects our commitment to racial equity by centering community, which we believe, in turn, will lead to advancing health equity in our region.
With our evaluation framework in hand, we have begun to dive deeper into data collected since our Foundation’s reinstitution in 2018. We collect qualitative and quantitative data at three levels to learn about the scope of conditions our partners are working in and improve our approaches, strategies and course-correct as needed.
We collect this information through:
We aim to share our learnings and insights with our community partners and peers in philanthropy to enrich our collective understanding of what is happening at organizations serving our region’s community members and the broader health ecosystem.
We spent 2020 listening to, learning from, and collaborating with grantee partners and peer funders to direct rapid response funding to communities hardest hit by the pandemic. We understood that meeting the moment required much more. So, we turned to community to understand those needs and developed a strategic pandemic response for the next three years that has influenced how we do our grantmaking and how we move forward in partnership with community.
Our community partner insights report, “Reimagining Health & Wellness: Building an Equitable COVID-19 Recovery with Community” summarizes the experiences and challenges of nonprofit organizations and communities in our service region and examples of their resiliency during the most extraordinary circumstances of recent history. While these are hyper-local insights and reflections, many are applicable beyond our service region, including those that speak to philanthropy’s role in this moment and beyond.
Since 2021, we have worked alongside our partners to develop and implement an evaluation framework that centers equity. Our learning and evaluation framework reflects our core values and centers lived experience and evidence-based practices to share wisdom, cultivate trust and maintain the highest standards for stewardship of our Foundation’s resources. We designed it to work in concert with our grantmaking practice, programmatic strategy, and commitment to community responsiveness. Therefore, this framework aims to ensure that we are on the right path toward our impact as a foundation.
In this report, we share insights about how our grantmaking practices and strategies—the who and how we fund—have shifted in the past five years to align with our strategic plan. While this report looks back at our grantmaking practice and grantee partner data from 2018 to 2021, it is important to understand the evolution of our grantmaking and priorities to inform where we must go as a foundation. We have gained insights that have validated how an equity lens, and moving at the speed of trust, has helped us refine our grantmaking to meet evolving hyperlocal health needs, influence the broader health ecosystem in our region, and advance health equity.
Supported by our Evaluation framework, we have begun to dig deeper into the grantee partner data we collect throughout the grant cycle—from the grant application to the final grant report. This report summarizes what we heard from grantee partners who received general operating support during the 2021-2022 grant term, specifically our 2021 grantee partners and multi-year partner cohort and how our general operating support impacted their operations, strategies, and racial equity journeys.