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Successful Structures: Rethinking the Role of Grants Management

In our exploration of successful structures, we studied organizations of different sizes, types, missions, and cultures. We identified a set of common practices supported by certain organizational characteristics and behaviors that, over time, are building successful structures. These characteristics and behaviors boil down to five essential guidelines for realizing a successful grantmaking structure designed to integrate the “how” of grantmaking with foundation strategy and impact





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Assessing Impact

This guide reviews various ways to assess philanthropic impact. It looks at what assessment can accomplish and what it has difficulty measuring. It sets out a series of questions donors can ask as they consider how to proceed with their philanthropy. And finally, it details some of the limitations inherent in trying to understand exactly how donors’ dollars are working.





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Assessing the How of Grantmaking

This resource identifies core questions that every grantmaking organization should be able to answer about how its grantmaking works. Within each core question, we suggest sub-questions that further define the type of data to collect and provide guidance for how grantmakers might place the answers in context. We also suggest examples of specific data that your organization can collect and track in order to answer the core questions.











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Scope, Scale, and Sustainability: What It Takes to Create Lasting Community Change

This article examines success factors that relate specifically to the ability of a comprehensive community initiative (CCI) to achieve the scope and scale required to generate community-level outcomes and to sustain those positive impacts over time. The CCIs selected for study represent a wide range of goals, strategies, and organizational structures. Six factors were found to cut across scope, scale, and sustainability. These factors include having a single broker or entity that holds the vision of the change effort; clearly defined roles; alignment among interventions, resources, and geography; meaningful community engagement; competent leadership and staff; and strategic, cross-level relationships. Additional Read more





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The Trenton Afterschool Partnership: Expanding Learning Time Citywide Through Public/Private Collaboration

High quality after-school programs have been demonstrated to have significant impact on student performance. Preceding the Trenton Afterschool Partnership (TAP) was a hodgepodge of programs that cost various contributors about $9 million. These programs, of unequal quality, served about 1,500 students in 15 out of Trenton’s 21 public schools. TAP (which includes the Princeton Area Community Foundation) was able to successfully implement programs in all of the Trenton schools. Budget cuts have forced the reduction of the programs, but about half of the schools have been able to maintain programs. Foundations are encouraged to support advocacy capacity and to provide Read more