Creating the Foundation for a Data-Driven Culture in Organizations

Most nonprofits, schools and youth-serving organizations do not have a history of systematically using data to inform and improve practice. We have learned that it takes a concerted and sustained effort to create the conditions to support a culture of data use in organizations and intentional support for staff to become effective users of data.

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Essential Features of Nonprofit Sustainability: Towards Clarity for Grants Professionals

This article offers the perspective that financial stability is a necessary but insufficient condition for organizational sustainability: other factors are essential for long-term stability and impact. Well-regarded models of sustainability go beyond effective management and engaged boards to include dimensions such as adaptive capacity, innovation, and other practices. In short, sustainability is the result of a complex interplay of many interdependent practices, behaviors, and decisions. This article synthesizes the dominant characterizations and features of sustainability and presents several common dimensions.

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Rural Residents as Grantmakers: Experimenting with Shared Gifting

In 2021, St. David’s Foundation began to think differently about our approach to rural funding. Building on the Thriving Rural Communities strategy to advance racial and health equity, we focused on fostering new and deeper relationships with our rural and small-town neighbors. In addition, we invested in new types of supports for community capacity building and experimented with a form of participatory grant making, Shared Gifting, that allows community members to decide what the most urgent funding needs are, rather than the funders or local decision makers.

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Catalyzing Community Transformation in Bastrop County

In partnership with the residents of Bastrop County through Network Weaving, a community engagement and leadership development approach, residents are beginning to develop new relationships to catalyze and leverage community strengths to empower residents to transform their community in ways that improve the conditions in which people live, work, and play.

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Investing in Teacher Capacity: Results from the Impact Evaluation of the New Mexico Math‐Science Partnership

This report describes the results of an external impact evaluation of the New Mexico Math‐Science Partnerships (MSP) program after two years of implementation. The results of analyses of New Mexico state mathematics assessment scores, teacher professional development logs, content assessments, and student and teacher background and demographic information revealed statistically significant but practically non‐significant improvements in latent growth trajectories of middle school students’ mathematics achievement after two years of exposure to teachers participating in the MSP program.

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Community Innovation Network Framework: A Model for Reshaping Community Identity

This article discusses the REACH Healthcare Foundation’s original approach to their Rural Health Initiative and how it adjusted that approach in response to its rural partners’ experiences. It reflects on the challenges encountered in rooting the four conditions and capacities of community change and innovation – supports for implementation; foundational structures; skills and processes; and community engagement – into the work of community health improvement.

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Strengthening Social Connection and Opportunities in Rural Communities

This brief describes an unfolding learning journey intended to strengthen social connection, resident voice, and agency to address inequities in rural health and well-being. Along the way, we have come to realize the important lessons for each of our institutions and ways in which we are better off for having taken this approach to our work.

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