What we are trying to accomplish through the Sterling Network

The Sterling Network is a collaboration of 45 cross-sector leaders who are working together to enhance economic mobility across NYC. 

The foundation supports these leaders to build connections, share resources, and collaborate in new ways, while investing in collaborative projects that advance economic mobility. 

In the short term, we expect the Network will have an impact on the skills development, mindset, and connectivity of individual participating leaders. 

We expect individuals and organizations will benefit from peer-to-peer learning and collaboration too.

Over the longer term, as the network grows “healthier” and stronger, we expect its impact will extend to the organizations and issue areas in which participating leaders work. Network participants will feel value of network-based approaches to solving social challenges.

Ultimately, we’re investing in collaborations that emerge among (and beyond) network leaders to increase economic mobility in NYC. 

How our Sterling Network assessment works

We use four evaluation tools to assess our Network impact. 

We have developed a suite of rigorous qualitative and quantitative network assessment tools that include:

  • Social network analysis, conducted through a survey administered twice per year through which the network’s evaluation team examines: the development of new and deeper relationships; changes in the frequency of communication among network leaders; and the development of collaborations between network participants. Network leaders, alongside the network’s coordination team, have opportunities to explore what the data means – for individual leaders and in terms of the growth and evolution of the network.

  • Participant survey, administered twice per year, which explores changes in knowledge and attitudes among network leaders toward a network mindset, which prioritizes mission over organizational growth. The survey also examines network leader perceptions of the quality of the network and its utility to partners.

  • Participant interviews, administered annually, through which we explore more in detail emerging partnerships between network participants: how they’re manifesting and the impact they’re having.

  • Convening surveys, that examine the extent to which network participants find our facilitated gatherings effective at developing relationships, supporting shared learning, and catalyzing new collaboration. These convening surveys also serve a developmental purpose, helping the network coordination team to identify specific conversations and areas of focus for future events and convenings.

Each year, our independent evaluators share reports related to each assessment tool. They also aggregate findings so that we can reflect on whether we are achieving our desired network outcomes as a whole.

Want more information about our assessment practices?

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

To learn more about our grantmaking assessment activities click here.