The Community Leadership Project is a $10 million investment, made collaboratively by Irvine and the Packard and Hewlett foundations, to support the effectiveness and impact of a set of small organizations that are deeply rooted in low-income communities and communities of color. The project began in 2009, and more than 100 community organizations in three regions of California – the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley –are involved in this effort to enhance important aspects of their organizations’ operations and leadership abilities.
We recently received a progress report from Social Policy Research Associates, the team that is evaluating the project’s results, and we are excited to share some of the accomplishments, challenges and surprises of the project.
The evaluation shows that CLP is successfully reaching organizations and individuals that are not typically on the philanthropy radar because of some combination of their small size, their finite capacity, or where they are located. Two years into the project, it is still too early to document specific outcomes, but the evaluators also share their viewpoint that CLP investments are making a difference for participating organizations in a host of ways. We are finding that: