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Evaluating Complexity

While evaluation has traditionally focused on assessing programmatic impact according to pre-determined indicators, a new approach is needed for evaluating complex initiatives, as well as initiatives operating in complex environments where progress is not linear, predictable, or controllable. 9 propositions can help evaluators navigate the unique characteristics of complex systems, improve their evaluation practice, and better serve the needs of the social sector.





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Investing in Community Change: An Evaluation of a Decade of Data-Driven Grantmaking

The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation has a well-established continuum of grantmaking and technical-assistance programs designed to improve the quality of life for children and families living in low-income communities in eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. The foundation’s decade long focus on neighborhood revitalization has helped to shape a resident-driven, collaborative, long-term, and data-informed approach designed to make neighborhoods more attractive for large-scale investment. In 2014, the foundation engaged The Reinvestment Fund and Success Measures at NeighborWorks America to jointly evaluate the impact of its grantmaking and related programs from 2003 to 2013, to determine if practices in its approach Read more





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Making Change by Spending Down

This case study shares funder wisdom by highlighting more than 20 voices that support spending down. It offers numerous perspectives on the spend down that result in a detailed collective story. There’s no one right way to do or think about spending down, but sharing and listening help build a strategic approach.    





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Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016

This publication is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit. The Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.