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Ontario Nonprofit Network;
When grantmakers ask the organizations they fund about their evaluation plans, they are typically motivated by a desire to achieve the greatest impact possible through their investment. They often hope to help the organizations they fund to do the same. However, these conversations sometimes veer off track, especially when nonprofits feel pressure to produce evaluation results that align with funders' preconceived ideas. Evaluation can turn into a tool for accountability and risk management rather than a tool for learning. One way to prevent this dynamic from developing is to make sure that grantmakers and grant recipients talk with one another about why they are interested in evaluating a particular project before they get into discussions of what should be measured and how data collection tools should be used.
This guide explores strategies that grantmakers can use to lay the groundwork for meaningful evaluation by focusing on learning rather than measurement early in the grant application process. We begin by defining what a learning culture or learning organization means and why it is important. Then, we discuss some of the key elements of learning organizations. Lastly, we outline some principles for grantmakers to help guide the development of a learning relationship with future grant recipients.
John Templeton Foundation;
If you've hiked among giant sequoias, stood in front of the Taj Mahal, or observed a particularly virtuosic musical performance, you may have experienced the mysterious and complex emotion known as "awe."
Awe experiences are self-transcendent. They shift our attention away from ourselves, make us feel like we are part of something greater than ourselves, and make us more generous toward others. But what is awe?
What types of experiences are most likely to elicit feelings of awe? Are some people more prone to experiencing awe? And what are the effects of awe?
While philosophers and religious scholars have explored awe for centuries, it was largely ignored by psychologists until the early 2000s. Since then, there has been growing interest in exploring awe empirically. This has led to a number of fascinating discoveries about the nature of awe, while also raising many questions still to be explored.
Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for death and disability, but its overall association with health remains complex given the possible protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on some conditions. With our comprehensive approach to health accounting within the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, we generated improved estimates of alcohol use and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 locations from 1990 to 2016, for both sexes and for 5-year age groups between the ages of 15 years and 95 years and older.
Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership;
This paper synthesizes the existing research on improvement networks in education and on how such networks can facilitate meaningful improvements in teaching and learning and ultimately in student outcomes. The paper's findings are drawn primarily from a critical literature review of empirical studies on education improvement networks, as well as from interviews with experts in the fields of professional networks and learning. By focusing on the networks most aligned to the NSI model, the paper is designed to provide a knowledge base for a formative evaluationof the NSI strategy, which BMGF has engaged the Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) to conduct over the next two years.
Heartland Alliance National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity;
Implementing the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model boosts employment outcomes for transition-age youth facing barriers to employment. LifeWorks, a non-profit organization serving transition-age youth and their families in Austin, TX, realized that workforce models popular within the youth development field may not address the significant and complex challenges faced by their participants. LifeWorks staff began to look toward behavioral health approaches to employment and discovered the Individual Placement & Support model. This case study discusses how IPS offered LifeWorks a new approach to workforce support for youth that might better address the types of challenges their participants faced.
The State of Global Grantmaking Giving by U.S. Foundations is the latest report in a decades-long collaboration between Foundation Center and The Council on Foundations and aims to help funders and civil society organizations better navigate the giving landscape as they work to effect change around the world. The analysis reveals that global giving by U.S. foundations increased by 29% from 2011 to 2015, reaching an all-time high of $9.3 billion in 2015. In addition to a detailed analysis of trends by issue area, geographic region, population group, and donor strategy, this analysis also relates these trends to key events and developments, including the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and the increasing legal restrictions faced by civil society in countries around the world.
School safety is an issue that policymakers have struggled to address for decades. Current federal policy provides an Unsafe School Choice Option that has been largely overlooked. States should ensure that implementation of the policy allows all students who are in unsafe environments to transfer to a safe and effective school. At the same time, state policymakers should immediately provide school choice options to children who are direct victims of school violence or bullying, and to those students in schools with a high rate of such victimization, through the introduction of "safe student" scholarships.
Marguerite Casey Foundation;
In this year's annual report, we bring you the stories of four young people who are making a difference. In each case, the youth found support from their families and communities to transform their own painful personal experience into positive change, investing their gift of resilience for the good of others.
Marguerite Casey Foundation;
This year's annual report profiles the 12 inaugural "Youth Poverty Warriors," each of whom exemplifies Shriver's and the foundation's belief that youth can fundamentally change society for the better.
Among Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, the United States ranks near the bottom in infant mortality rates. This is particularly perilous for black babies in the U.S., who are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday as a white baby. In addition to the medical care and access a woman and baby receive, these poor outcomes are also driven by social determinants of health—non-clinical factors such as social, educational, environmental, and economic opportunities that affect a woman's overall health and wellbeing. This multi-faceted challenge requires a multi-faceted approach.
Cross-sector collaborations offer a way forward in their ability to direct multiple actors and interventions toward the same goal. In this report, we highlight lessons learned from two of our birth outcomes projects in Fresno County, California, and Staten Island, New York, to offer others insights into paths to success and challenges to be aware of when seeking to address birth outcomes through such collaborations.
Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research;
The next generation of potential voters can turn their political pessimism into action in the 2018 midterms, according to the latest wave of the MTV/AP-NORC Youth Political Pulse Survey.
Young people age 15 to 34 express widespread pessimism toward the political system and discourse in the United States today. Fifty-seven percent say they are doubtful that people of different political views can come together and work out their differences, and less than 1 in 5 hold out hope that these political divisions will heal over the next five years. Just 1 in 10 have felt positive or excited about the state of the country in the past month, and about 7 in 10 say American politics are dysfunctional.