Learning and Assessment Framework
The Weingart Foundation has always held learning as a core organizational value. In FY 2014, our Board of Directors approved the following Learning and Assessment Framework, which is designed to comprehensively assess how the Foundation’s Unrestricted Operating Support furthers the organizational effectiveness of our grantees. The development and implementation of this new framework further solidifies our systematic practice in the area of learning.
Weingart Foundation Learning and Assessment Framework
|Grantees will be better able and more effective in addressing needs of low-income and underserved individuals and communities||Maintain a grantmaking program that responds to organizational and programmatic need as identified by our grantees||Maintain policy and practice to help grantees better provide and sustain their programs and services||Exercise leadership in the nonprofit and philanthropic community to influence policy and practice|
The Foundation began full implementation of our new Learning and Assessment Framework at the start of FY 2016, allowing us to systematically capture grantee data across nine areas of organizational effectiveness for all of our Unrestricted Operating Support (UOS) grantees with grants over $25,000 in size. As part of the new framewok, executive directors from grantee organizations are asked to complete a Grantee Survey in lieu of a final report, as well as engage in a close-out conversation with their Foundation program officer.
Moving forward, we will begin to gather and analyze end-point data for organizations closing out their UOS grants. This will allow us to further deepen our understanding of how unrestricted dollars specifically contribute to nonprofits’ ability to strengthen capacity and effectiveness. We will also explore how best to identify and incorporate equity indicators into the framework.
Learning and Assessment Framework Information and Resources
In July 2017, the Foundation released a report sharing baseline data gathered from our first full year under our Learning and Assessment Framework.
For a more detailed overview of the framework, including information on how applicants and grantees are impacted, please click here to read a message from Belen Vargas, Vice President, Programs.
In addition, on September 15, 2015 the Foundation held a webinar to walk nonprofit organizations through the framework’s goals, processes and tools, as well as answer questions. For a full recording of the webinar, as well as related materials, click here.
The Foundation remains committed to continue to listen and learn from nonprofits and communities in an ongoing effort to refine and strengthen our approaches to advance equity.
Listening Sessions: The Foundation typically holds a series of small meetings annually with nonprofit leaders spread geographically and by issue area. The goals of the Listening Sessions are to obtain: 1) perception and feedback on the Foundation’s programs and practice, 2) current information on challenges and opportunities in the field, and 3) recommendations to inform our future work and direction.
Special Assessments: The Foundation will also explore ways to better understand the impact of our Special Opportunity Fund, Areas of Special Interest (e.g. Immigrant Integration and Homelessness) and our Geographic Areas of Focus (Southeast Cities of Los Angeles County and South Los Angeles). Where appropriate, these assessments may engage outside consultants to facilitate evaluation activities and/or will draw from grantees’ existing evaluation activities to supplement our learning in these areas.
For additional information on our Learning and Assessment Framework and Program Learning, please contact Joyce Ybarra, Director of Learning, at firstname.lastname@example.org.