Why we evaluate our work:

Understanding our impact and being open to improvement helps us be a better partner to our grantee organizations and the leaders we engage in the Sterling Network. 

We hope togenerate evidence for the effectiveness of trust-based philanthropy approaches and network-based leadership practices.

We hope that being accountable and evaluating our work engenders trust. 


What we are trying to accomplish with our grantmaking

We want our grantees to use our support as they see fit.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have expectations for how we can help them.

For newer grantees, our flexible funding can help them defray costs so they have "breathing room.” That, combined with participating in our convenings where they get to learn from and network with each other, can help them build capacity. 

Over time, our support can help grantees have the space and resources to focus on their core work.

In addition to impacting individual organizations, we expect to have a more collective and systemic impact, boosting the health of the New York City nonprofit leadership sector. 

Ultimately, we hope to help move the needle of philanthropy funding for human capital development, especially using general operating support.   

How we evaluate our work:

We use three evaluation tools to assess our grantmaking impact. 

Working with grantees, RSCF has developed qualitative and quantitative assessment tools that include:

  • Flexible Funding Impact Survey, a rubric-based instrument that examines how grantees have used our funding and the impact it’s had on their organizations and programs. Grantees complete this annually.

  • CHAT (Check-in Analysis Tool), which replaces site visits and written grantee reporting as an annual conversation between foundation staff and grantees. The CHAT lets us hear about what our grantees are doing, how they’re using our funding, and what impact our funding is having on their organizations. The CHAT also directly assesses the trust we build with grantees.

  • Convening surveys, that examine whether grantees find our facilitated grantee gatherings meaningful for learning, building connections, and peer exchange.

Our evaluators aggregate and share findings from each assessment tool so that we can reflect on whether we are reaching our goals, and how we might change our practice. A grantmaking impact assessment from our evaluators for 2017-18 is here.

Want more information about our assessment practices?

If you’re interested in learning more about our assessment approach, tools and outcomes, please contact us at rscf@rsclark.org.

To learn more about our network assessment activities click here.