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CIRCLE Growing Voters: Building Institutions and Community Ecosystems for Equitable Election Participation

June 13, 2022

The CIRCLE Growing Voters report introduces and details a paradigm-shifting framework for developing the next generation of voters. Based on rigorous, comprehensive research, including findings from an exclusive survey of teens, it serves as a guide for every institution and community to play a role in this work. The report includes actionable recommendations for educators, organizers, policymakers, journalists, funders, families, young leaders, and more. Only by working together can we close voting gaps, expand the electorate, and support a more equitable and representative American democracy.

What’s Next for Philanthropy in the 2020s

October 4, 2021

A look ahead at emerging trends in philanthropy and charitable givingDrawing from interviews with more than 200 philanthropy executives, practitioners, donors, board members, experts, and grantees from around the world, What's Next for Philanthropy in the 2020s explores what emerging social, economic, and political shifts may mean for the future of philanthropy, charitable giving, and social innovation.

Nonprofit News Fact Sheets

September 1, 2021

The Index is the most comprehensive study of nonprofit news. INN's latest Index Report found that the nonprofit news sector grew by almost every measure. During a year of crises, audiences swelled, coverage expanded, staffing measures increased, and individual giving revenue surged for many. Previous Index reports are archived.

The Power and Problem of Criminal Justice Data: A Twenty-State Review

June 30, 2021

Despite accounting for a substantial portion of local, state, and federal budgets, our criminal justice institutions are among the least measured systems in our country. In an effort to bring transparency to this sector, MFJ has collected, standardized, and made public 20 states' worth of criminal justice data.The purpose of this report is to share what we have learned through this effort, including: (a) what we cannot see when data are missing, and (b) the value that data can provide when they are available and comparable. In particular, we identify patterns around the following:There is a substantial lack of data around pretrial detention and release decision-making, as well as individual demographics (particularly indigence).New data privacy laws are also making it needlessly difficult to obtain certain data. This poses challenges to understanding how individuals experience the system in cases that do not result in conviction.There is great variation in how counties dispose of and sentence nonviolent cases; how financial obligations are imposed on individuals; and the collateral consequences that individuals face when convicted.Across many of these findings, where demographics are available, we have an opportunity to identify and respond to significant disparities in group outcomes.This report challenges stakeholders and policymakers to dig deeper into these patterns and missing data. It also implores policymakers and legislators to improve criminal justice data infrastructure to ensure a more transparent, fair, and equitable implementation of justice.

Health Starts at Home: Final Evaluation Report

June 1, 2021

Health Starts at Home was a multi-partner collaboration to improve child and family health for low-income families experiencing housing instability. The Boston Foundation funded four entities, each a partnership of at least one health-care and one housing organization, to design and implement programs to improve service delivery and reduce housing instability for participating families. The evaluators—Health Resources in Action and Urban Institute—tracked changes in these families' housing status, economic well-being, health status and health-care use for the caregivers and enrolled children at baseline, six-month, and 12-month follow-up surveys. The goal of the evaluation was to determine whether improvements in housing stability (achieved through delivery of the four Health Starts at Home program interventions) were associated with improvements in health-related outcomes. Survey data was supplemented by administrative data from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) on the use of shelters and state rental assistance programs. 

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Journalism and Media Enduring Commitment (2015-2020) Report Annex 1: Data Collection Methods

April 28, 2021

The Journalism and Media (JAM) strategy is an Enduring Commitment of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (the Foundation). Since revising their strategy in 2015, the JAM program has sought to strengthen U.S. democracy by supporting accurate, just, and inclusive news and narratives that inform, engage, and activate people within the United States to build a more equitable future. Implemented through three unique yet complementary modules – Professional Nonprofit Reporting (PNR), Nonfiction Multimedia Storytelling (NFM), and Participatory Civic Media (PCM) – the program's theory of change posits that by fostering strong organizations; addressing barriers to media creation and consumption; and promoting learning, leadership, innovation, and field-building opportunities, the JAM strategy will contribute to intended positive changes for grantee organizations and the field that will enable them to contribute to long-term changes in multiple aspects of U.S. democracy.The revised strategy marked the beginning of several key shifts in the JAM team's approach to its work. Most notably, the new strategy added a portfolio of work – the PCM module – and shifted from a focus on support for legacy organizations toward an emphasis on support for emerging and Black-, Indigenous-, and people of color-led (BIPOC-led) organizations, including intentional efforts to shift power away from the Foundation through the use of intermediaries. Multi-year general operating support and flexible project support remained hallmarks of the team's approach. As of June 2020, the JAM strategy had made 174 grants totaling just under $116 million in approved funding across the three modules.The goal of this paper is to provide the latest information from the ongoing evaluation of the JAM strategy, facilitate learning, and serve as one input that contributes to the strategy review process. The evidence presented explores the evolution of the landscape and resulting windows of opportunity, the strategy's progress to date, and the validity of its theory of change and key assumptions.Synthesis report: https://search.issuelab.org/resource/the-john-d-and-catherine-t-macarthur-foundation-journalism-and-media-enduring-commitment-synthesis-report-2015-2020 

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Journalism and Media Enduring Commitment (2015-2020) Report Annex 3: Secondary Sources

April 28, 2021

The Journalism and Media (JAM) strategy is an Enduring Commitment of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (the Foundation). Since revising their strategy in 2015, the JAM program has sought to strengthen U.S. democracy by supporting accurate, just, and inclusive news and narratives that inform, engage, and activate people within the United States to build a more equitable future. Implemented through three unique yet complementary modules – Professional Nonprofit Reporting (PNR), Nonfiction Multimedia Storytelling (NFM), and Participatory Civic Media (PCM) – the program's theory of change posits that by fostering strong organizations; addressing barriers to media creation and consumption; and promoting learning, leadership, innovation, and field-building opportunities, the JAM strategy will contribute to intended positive changes for grantee organizations and the field that will enable them to contribute to long-term changes in multiple aspects of U.S. democracy.The revised strategy marked the beginning of several key shifts in the JAM team's approach to its work. Most notably, the new strategy added a portfolio of work – the PCM module – and shifted from a focus on support for legacy organizations toward an emphasis on support for emerging and Black-, Indigenous-, and people of color-led (BIPOC-led) organizations, including intentional efforts to shift power away from the Foundation through the use of intermediaries. Multi-year general operating support and flexible project support remained hallmarks of the team's approach. As of June 2020, the JAM strategy had made 174 grants totaling just under $116 million in approved funding across the three modules.The goal of this paper is to provide the latest information from the ongoing evaluation of the JAM strategy, facilitate learning, and serve as one input that contributes to the strategy review process. The evidence presented explores the evolution of the landscape and resulting windows of opportunity, the strategy's progress to date, and the validity of its theory of change and key assumptions.Synthesis report: https://search.issuelab.org/resource/the-john-d-and-catherine-t-macarthur-foundation-journalism-and-media-enduring-commitment-synthesis-report-2015-2020

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Journalism and Media Enduring Commitment (2015-2020) Report Annex 2: Full Tools

April 28, 2021

The Journalism and Media (JAM) strategy is an Enduring Commitment of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (the Foundation). Since revising their strategy in 2015, the JAM program has sought to strengthen U.S. democracy by supporting accurate, just, and inclusive news and narratives that inform, engage, and activate people within the United States to build a more equitable future. Implemented through three unique yet complementary modules – Professional Nonprofit Reporting (PNR), Nonfiction Multimedia Storytelling (NFM), and Participatory Civic Media (PCM) – the program's theory of change posits that by fostering strong organizations; addressing barriers to media creation and consumption; and promoting learning, leadership, innovation, and field-building opportunities, the JAM strategy will contribute to intended positive changes for grantee organizations and the field that will enable them to contribute to long-term changes in multiple aspects of U.S. democracy.The revised strategy marked the beginning of several key shifts in the JAM team's approach to its work. Most notably, the new strategy added a portfolio of work – the PCM module – and shifted from a focus on support for legacy organizations toward an emphasis on support for emerging and Black-, Indigenous-, and people of color-led (BIPOC-led) organizations, including intentional efforts to shift power away from the Foundation through the use of intermediaries. Multi-year general operating support and flexible project support remained hallmarks of the team's approach. As of June 2020, the JAM strategy had made 174 grants totaling just under $116 million in approved funding across the three modules.The goal of this paper is to provide the latest information from the ongoing evaluation of the JAM strategy, facilitate learning, and serve as one input that contributes to the strategy review process. The evidence presented explores the evolution of the landscape and resulting windows of opportunity, the strategy's progress to date, and the validity of its theory of change and key assumptions.Synthesis report: https://search.issuelab.org/resource/the-john-d-and-catherine-t-macarthur-foundation-journalism-and-media-enduring-commitment-synthesis-report-2015-2020 

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Journalism and Media Enduring Commitment: Synthesis Report (2015-2020)

April 28, 2021

The Journalism and Media (JAM) strategy is an Enduring Commitment of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (the Foundation). Since revising their strategy in 2015, the JAM program has sought to strengthen U.S. democracy by supporting accurate, just, and inclusive news and narratives that inform, engage, and activate people within the United States to build a more equitable future. Implemented through three unique yet complementary modules – Professional Nonprofit Reporting (PNR), Nonfiction Multimedia Storytelling (NFM), and Participatory Civic Media (PCM) – the program's theory of change posits that by fostering strong organizations; addressing barriers to media creation and consumption; and promoting learning, leadership, innovation, and field-building opportunities, the JAM strategy will contribute to intended positive changes for grantee organizations and the field that will enable them to contribute to long-term changes in multiple aspects of U.S. democracy.The revised strategy marked the beginning of several key shifts in the JAM team's approach to its work. Most notably, the new strategy added a portfolio of work – the PCM module – and shifted from a focus on support for legacy organizations toward an emphasis on support for emerging and Black-, Indigenous-, and people of color-led (BIPOC-led) organizations, including intentional efforts to shift power away from the Foundation through the use of intermediaries. Multi-year general operating support and flexible project support remained hallmarks of the team's approach. As of June 2020, the JAM strategy had made 174 grants totaling just under $116 million in approved funding across the three modules.The goal of this paper is to provide the latest information from the ongoing evaluation of the JAM strategy, facilitate learning, and serve as one input that contributes to the strategy review process. The evidence presented explores the evolution of the landscape and resulting windows of opportunity, the strategy's progress to date, and the validity of its theory of change and key assumptions.

Prize Philanthropy: Benefits, Challenges, and Winning Approaches

March 22, 2021

Prizes have long been used to recognize achievement and advance innovation and effective solutions. In recent years, prize philanthropy, the use of monetary prizes to recognize achievements or drive developments that benefit society has become more popular among a wider segment of donors. This guide was created to help philanthropists decide whether and how to use prize philanthropy to achieve their goals.

MacArthur Foundation Nuclear Challenges Big Bet: 2020 Evaluation & Learning Synthesis

January 29, 2021

Since November 2017, ORS Impact has served as evaluation and learning partner to the Nuclear Challenges team. ORS' evaluation focused on our Nuclear Challenges strategy and its specific, time-bound goals. The purpose of evaluation was to assess whether the strategy as articulated by the program team has contributed to progress towards a stabilized nuclear regime and a negotiated W-UM agreement within the timeframe set by the Big Bet. There were myriad evaluation inputs for the program team over the course of several years. This particular evaluation report served as one of several inputs for the program team and the Board in our strategy review process.The report lays out substantive findings regarding outcomes and the external landscape that, together, present a picture of progress to date for the Nuclear Challenges strategy. The report sets out to answer three overarching questions:Does progress to date demonstrate momentum and provide a line of sight to the Big Bet goals of a more stable nuclear regime by 2025 and a negotiated W-UM agreement by 2030?Is the Nuclear Challenges theory of change valid and adequate to reach the intended Big Bet goals?Does the landscape suggest continued windows of opportunity for progress toward the goals in the Nuclear Challenges strategy and theory of change within the limited timeframe of the Big Bet?To answer these questions, ORS employed a mixed method design to measure the status of and progress within module components and related to the strategy's end goal. The synthesized results presented in this report reflect cross-module data, analysis, findings, and evidence which speak specifically to the Nuclear Challenges theory of change. This report presents the first synthesis of evaluation data about the Nuclear Challenges strategy.Findings and evidence presented in this report are based on the specific time period in which data were collected, from May 2019 to June 2020. Given the dynamic nature of the field, there have since been further developments and continued evolution in the external landscape that have implications for the nuclear landscape and field.

MacArthur Foundation Nuclear Challenges Big Bet Report Annex 1: Summary of Methods

January 29, 2021

Since November 2017, ORS Impact has served as evaluation and learning partner to the Nuclear Challenges team. ORS' evaluation focused on our Nuclear Challenges strategy and its specific, time-bound goals. The purpose of evaluation was to assess whether the strategy as articulated by the program team has contributed to progress towards a stabilized nuclear regime and a negotiated W-UM agreement within the timeframe set by the Big Bet. There were myriad evaluation inputs for the program team over the course of several years. This particular evaluation report served as one of several inputs for the program team and the Board in our strategy review process.The report lays out substantive findings regarding outcomes and the external landscape that, together, present a picture of progress to date for the Nuclear Challenges strategy. The report sets out to answer three overarching questions:Does progress to date demonstrate momentum and provide a line of sight to the Big Bet goals of a more stable nuclear regime by 2025 and a negotiated W-UM agreement by 2030?Is the Nuclear Challenges theory of change valid and adequate to reach the intended Big Bet goals?Does the landscape suggest continued windows of opportunity for progress toward the goals in the Nuclear Challenges strategy and theory of change within the limited timeframe of the Big Bet?To answer these questions, ORS employed a mixed method design to measure the status of and progress within module components and related to the strategy's end goal. The synthesized results presented in this report reflect cross-module data, analysis, findings, and evidence which speak specifically to the Nuclear Challenges theory of change. This report presents the first synthesis of evaluation data about the Nuclear Challenges strategy.Findings and evidence presented in this report are based on the specific time period in which data were collected, from May 2019 to June 2020. Given the dynamic nature of the field, there have since been further developments and continued evolution in the external landscape that have implications for the nuclear landscape and field.Synthesis report: https://search.issuelab.org/resource/macarthur-foundation-nuclear-challenges-big-bet-2020-evaluation-learning-synthesis