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The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation's Youth Development Fund: Results and Lessons from the First Ten Years

September 12, 2013

In 1999, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF) began an experiment that would ultimately reinvent its grantmaking. Starting with three grantees, it tested an approach for improving the life prospects of disadvantaged young people by investing heavily in the capacity of nonprofits to "scale up" programs of proven effectiveness. For the past 10 years, conducting more than 150 confidential interviews with leaders of more than 40 grantees, we have provided the Foundation ongoing feedback about the effects -- intended and unintended -- of its grantmaking. For this paper, we returned to our archive of interviews and examined the Foundation's own performance data to consider two questions:Have the Foundation's grantees moved the needle -- with greater scale and impact -- in improving the life prospects of vulnerable youth? What lessons can be drawn from EMCF's experiences -- positive and negative -- to inform others in the field?This paper has three parts: 1 An overview of the grantmaking strategy the Foundation adopted in 1999; 2 A summary of grantee progress in achieving the scale and impact that are the goals of EMCF's grants; and 3 Lessons and reflections on key aspects of the Foundation's approach.

5-year Evaluation of the Flexible Leadership Awards

January 1, 2013

This report presents findings and analysis from an evaluation of the Flexible Leadership Awards ("FLA") program ("the Program"). As the Program's sponsor, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund ("the Fund") commissioned the evaluation both to inform its own work and to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about how foundations can best support their grantees' leadership development.The report has three sections:An overview of the Fund's approach to learning and evaluation, which provides context for this report.A review of grantees' progress, which assesses how the organizations fared in meeting the leadership development and mission advancing goals they had set at the outsetof the Program; and explores how FLA contributed to grantees' gains.An account of how the Program worked, which presents a detailed description of key elements of the Program's design, as well as lessons learned during implementation that may benefit other funders considering investing in leadership development.

An Experiment in Scaling Impact: Assessing the Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot

December 1, 2012

This report presents an assessment of the Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot. It was commissioned by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, founder and lead investor of the grantmaking initiative.Starting in 2000, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (Clark) adopted an investment approach to grantmaking that focused on providing growth capital to youth-serving organizations with demonstrated commitments to evaluation and measurable outcomes. For grantees, the strategy meant larger, longer-term, unrestricted investments, complemented by extensive access to consulting and technical assistance to strengthen their organizations.This approach helped Clark grantees across the portfolio increase the numbers of youth they served (for example, by 18 percent between 2005 and 2006) and achieve annual revenue gains (averaging 19 percent over the four years prior to the founding of GCAP). At the same time, the Foundation concluded that more capital would be required if its grantees and other promising youth-serving organizations were to realize their ultimate scale and sustainability potential.

Coaching Practices and Prospects: The Flexible Leadership Awards Program in Context

May 12, 2009

Reviews trends in coaching in leadership development and examines how Flexible Leadership Awards program participants are using coaching and to what effect. Outlines elements of success, including clear, measurable goals linking leaders and organizations.

A Framework for Analyzing Nonprofit Governance and Accountability Policies and Strategies

October 1, 2006

This paper presents a framework for analyzing the sprawling topic of nonprofit governance and accountability. It distinguishes various accountability-generating mechanisms and actors, including the unit-level governing board; government policies aimed at shaping the behavior of governing boards; and a broader, natural demand for accountability, generated by an organizations many stakeholders. The aims of these accountability mechanisms and actors also vary, and include the prevention of theft and fraud; the efficient use of resources; the choice of socially valuable goals; and the effective performance of an organization in service of those goals.This publication is Hauser Center Working Paper No. 33.3. Hauser Working Paper Series Nos. 33.1-33.9 were prepared as background papers for the Nonprofit Governance and Accountability Symposium October 3-4, 2006.

Nonprofit Capital: A Review of Problems and Strategies

July 2, 2001

This book was commissioned by two major foundations to review challenges and opportunities that non-profit organisations face in attempting to meet their need for financial capital. Based on interviews and a literature review, the paper presents a summary of strategies and practices in fields such as: reforming the non-profit capital market; reforming philanthropy; and expanding access to private capital markets.