Download best wordpress themes.
Best wordpress themes.

Distinctive Grantmaking

Measuring Outcomes for Young Children & their Families

NPO Conversation on Tuesday, May 16 at GMA

Several times a year we invite leaders of nonprofit organizations to join us for a lunch discussion about issues, ideas, and concerns in the nonprofit and philanthropic community. The meetings are a time for us to move beyond the usual conversation between foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Each session focuses on a particular topic, and reservations are required. Guests will learn a little more about GMA and a lot about their peers’ perspectives on important issues.

Topic for Conversation:  Measuring outcomes to support young children and their families

Many grantees of GMA client foundations serve families with young children. As grantmaking staff, we have noticed that measuring outcomes is a shared challenge.   Moving beyond the tradition of participant surveys, nonprofit leaders are asking deeper questions and seeking to assess longer term impact for both caregivers and children.

What are you measuring to show your impact (e.g. increases in shared reading time, increased caregiver knowledge of early childhood development)?  Over the years, what have you learned works or does not work?  In what ways have you used your outcomes data to change your practice/what you do?

Continue Reading »

How new brain research is informing changes in grantmaking

brain livescience-comResearch into the physical effects of traumatic experiences on the brain is revealing possible new pathways to change and reshaping measures of program effectiveness. With increased knowledge of the stress-induced barriers to mental well-being, education, health and human services organizations are incorporating trauma-informed approaches into their programs.

Research around trauma has historically focused on war veterans. In 1995 the CDC began the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) which demonstrated the lasting effects of childhood trauma into later life. The ACES research has been instrumental to understanding the long term effects of trauma and has provided compelling justification for early intervention. The CDC’s ongoing analysis has led to more inclusive definitions of trauma and has pointed to strong connections between childhood experiences and adult health status and behaviors.

Recent research into brain development is helping explain this connection in concrete terms – our brains change. In one article the Children’s Bureau explains the effects of maltreatment on brain development, and an article on BrainBlogger.com describes how Post-traumatic stress disorder changes the brain.

Bridging a sense of isolation

Continue Reading »

2016 Innovator: Budget Buddies

BudgetBuddies_FinalLogo_1At the March 17 Social Innovation Forum (SIF) event, “Promoting Economic Self-Sufficiency for Women,” speaker Deborah Goldberg, state treasurer of Massachusetts, lauded Budget Buddies’ important work and underscored the necessity of promoting wage equality and women’s economic empowerment. Throughout her speech, Treasurer Goldberg spoke passionately about the power of collaboration.

The theme of collaborative power, and especially the collaborative power of women, could not have been more appropriate. Budget Buddies, led by co-founders Anita Saville and Kathy Brough, both promotes and embodies the power of women working together to help other women. Ms. Saville described the financial coaches—women who work one-on-one with the organization’s clients, sometimes for years—as the heart of the program.

Coincidentally—or not!—the SIF track sponsor that ultimately selected Budget Buddies as a 2016 Innovator was also a collaborative of women. The Anna B. Stearns Charitable Foundation, a well-established local entity focused on women and girls in Greater Boston, had the privilege of identifying and partnering with four other funders committed to women’s and girls’ empowerment:  the Miriam Fund, the Story Exchange, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and Womenade Boston.

——
This is an excerpt of an article written by Hannah Blaisdell, foundation assistant at GMA Foundations, for the Social Innovation Forum’s blog (click here to read in full).

Next Page »