Community Foundation Awards $193,127 in Performance Management Grants

December 27, 2012 (Syracuse, NY) – The Central New York Community Foundation awarded $193,127 in Performance Management grants to 11 local nonprofit organizations. This is the second time the Community Foundation has dedicated a pool of grant dollars to improve the ability of nonprofits to function more efficiently and effectively.

“Performance Management helps organizations with continuous improvement—this translates into first class services for those who live in our communities,” said John Eberle, Vice President, Grants & Community Initiatives at the Community Foundation. “Tracking data can have a profound impact on an organization’s ability to share the story of their personal and collective impact in the community.”

The Community Foundation piloted its Performance Management program in 2011 by awarding grants to projects that helped organizations better measure their community impact. Grantees of this program are invited to participate in year-long, monthly meetings of a ‘learning community’ to share their experiences and challenges with their peers. The first round was so successful that the Community Foundation decided to request proposals from organizations again this year.

In this round, some organizations will serve as mentors within the learning community. Three organizations, two of which are previous performance management grantees and received additional grants in this round, will serve as mentors. The success of their initial projects and commitment to the learning community process will allow them to serve as excellent mentors to the new organizations participating.

The following organizations will serve as mentors:

Salvation Army received $15,000 to collect and analyze data for the Family Plan Visitation program to determine its effectiveness at reducing children’s length of stay in the foster care system.

Vera House received $15,000 to integrate three existing databases into one system and study new intervention methods.

OnCare will serve as a role model, consultant and active participant in this year’s learning community. Due to its extensive experience in performance management, it agreed to serve as a mentoring organization on a purely volunteer basis.

In addition, nine new first year performance grantees were awarded funding for projects to measure community impact:

Aurora of Central New York received $20,000 to expand on the information captured through its In-Home Assessment tool and Home Modification Stages of Change questionnaire for seniors. Analysis of these measurements will demonstrate the intention of seniors to modify their safety behaviors, as well as barriers to implementing home modifications that could reduce dangerous safety hazards.

Baltimore Woods Nature Center received $15,000 to examine surveys from Syracuse City School District (SCSD) students to determine the impact of its Nature in the City program. Researching the outcomes will give a better understanding of what parts of the programming are most effective with specific student populations.

Child Care Solutions received $14,080 to implement a data tracking system to report and compare outcomes from the various kinds of technical assistance it offers to child care providers. Analyzing the services will allow comparison on a rating scale.

Elmcrest Children’s Center received $20,000 to create electronic “report cards” that measure the impact and progress of three key programs – Family Transitions, Residential Treatment, and the Family Support Center. With these reports, the project can track children’s outcomes and analyze the impact of its programming.

Farmers Market Federations of New York received $18,140 to evaluate the Farmers Market Wireless EBT program to determine whether it is meeting its three major goals of healthier eating behaviors: increasing the number of SNAP/EBT purchases, bolstering the revenue of farmers, and encouraging healthy food choices among SNAP consumers.

On Point for College received $19,207 to implement additional data fields in its database. The organization will more effectively utilize student records and experiences to demonstrate program impact to funders and communicate events to students more efficiently.

PEACE, Inc. received $20,000 to analyze the similarities and differences between two Head Start/Early Head Start assessment tools used by local school districts in an effort to achieve a more comprehensive picture of kindergarten readiness.

Spanish Action League received $20,000 to develop an agency-wide Access database to help in its management decisions. The organization plans to focus on tracking the outcomes and achievements of children in its after-school programs.

United Way of Central New York received $16,700 to review and refine its existing indicators, then collect data to establish the impact of its grantmaking. Its goal through the new grant reporting measures is to connect the outcomes with community impact.

Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of a permanent charitable endowment for the betterment of the region.  The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $130 million. It awards close to $6.7 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually and has invested more than $100 million in the community since its inception. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and businesses through the administration of nearly 600 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen nonprofits that address the region’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit www.cnycf.org.

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