To strengthen grassroots organizations that serve low-income people and communities of color
The Community Leadership Project is a joint effort funded by three California foundations to strengthen grassroots organizations that serve low-income people and communities of color. The James Irvine Foundation is collaborating with The David and Lucile Packard and William and Flora Hewlett foundations on this effort.
Underwritten with $10 million from the three foundations, the Community Leadership Project (CLP) targets small and midsize organizations in three geographic areas: the greater San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast, and San Joaquin Valley. The funders selected these three regions based on interviews with a diverse group of leaders across the state, an analysis of demographic shifts and poverty rates, as well as the geographic priorities of each foundation.
This initiative is using three grantmaking strategies to build the capacity of these community organizations:
We are evaluating the effectiveness of these different capacity-building approaches to determine which ones are most powerful, effective, and cost-efficient for community organizations. We also expect CLP grantmaking to improve our foundations’ understanding of the strengths and challenges of small community organizations. More information about the strategies, the grantees, and what we are learning is available at www.communityleadershipproject.org.
In July of 2010, the CLP funding partners selected Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) in partnership with the Leadership Learning Community to evaluate this initiative. We have two goals for the evaluation:
The evaluation uses qualitative and quantitative methods to assess outcomes and document important insights from this initiative. Key methods include:
An interim progress report found that CLP community grantees hold great potential to benefit from investments in capacity building. They have clearly articulated intentions around planning, program design, and organizational structure, but lack consistent and formal practices for maximizing organizational capacity.