Listening to the Locals: Using evaluation and learning tools to make place-based grantmaking more community-informed

Session Number: 2348
Track: Nonprofit and Foundations
Session Type: Roundtable
Tags: capacity building, Foundation, nonprofits, place-based funding, regional evaluation
Session Facilitator: Sophia Lee [Senior Research Consultant - Harder+Company Community Research]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Julianne Marie Pérez [Community Engagement Administrator - City of Largo]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Margaret Natalie Hobstetter [Program Officer of Impact and Learning - The Sobrato Family Foundation]
Time: Nov 15, 2019 (10:30 AM - 11:15 AM)
Room: CC 101 I

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Many place-based funders refresh their “evidence base” on a regular basis to ensure their strategies continue to be attuned to the needs of the communities they serve. And those who are committed to strengthening nonprofit capacity often want to ensure that their supports align not just with the needs of local nonprofits but also with the efforts of other regional funders and capacity builders. Navigating complex local ecosystems can be challenging, so even the savviest funders can benefit from engaging an evaluation partner to foster authentic, relevant, and meaningful information-gathering processes.

In this roundtable session, the Sobrato Family Foundation and Harder+Company Community Research will share how they used strengths-based evaluation and learning techniques with local stakeholders to refine the Foundation’s nonprofit capacity building program. They will then lead a discussion about the opportunities and challenges of crafting community-informed funding strategies while striving to nurture local relationships.