Measuring Civic Engagement Efforts Sets Stage for Social Change

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W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant allows for the establishment of a national initiative to measure the impact and identify the best practices of civic engagement by the Alliance for Children and Families and United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA).

A $290,000, two-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (http://www.wkkf.org) will support the Alliance for Children and Families (http://www.alliance1.org) and United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) (http://www.unca.org) for the establishment of a national initiative to measure the impact and identify the best practices of civic engagement.

The Measuring the Impact of Civic Engagement program will allow the Alliance and UNCA to introduce and test measurement instruments to track organizational effectiveness and impact of civic engagement efforts. Once established, nonprofit community-based groups will be better able to assess their efforts, to tell their story, and to provide the public with a better understanding of the impact of civic engagement.

“Using the data from this cutting-edge project, the combined 525 members of the Alliance and UNCA can facilitate civic engagement activities to more robustly address community issues and improve conditions of life in neighborhoods, cities, states, and the nation,” explains Peter Goldberg, president and CEO of the Alliance.

This new grant builds upon an earlier Kellogg Foundation grant to the Alliance and UNCA for the first phase of Measuring the Impact of Civic Engagement. This phase developed an outcomes measurement system using a series of survey tools that measure the impact of civic engagement efforts in the areas of education, healthy living, and economic security.

This second phase, which commenced this month, will generate comparative data to enhance the meaningfulness of the survey data collected during the first phase. The initiative will deploy a general benchmarking effort where up to 100 participating organizations will submit survey data via online, web-based surveys. It will also deploy process benchmarking, an investigative methodology to identify best practices used by high performing civic engagement programs.

The second phase will also include a series of activities to encourage adoption of the civic engagement surveys among human services providers and neighborhood centers, stimulate performance improvement activities, further refine the measures based on participant feedback, and promote the best practices for civic engagement that were identified through the project.

More information:

The Alliance for Children and Families (http://www.alliance1.org) is a nonprofit national membership association of private, nonprofit human services providers in the United States and Canada.

United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) (http://www.unca.org) is a national advocate for social justice, neighborhood-based progress, and community building.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. Learn more on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation website at http://www.wkkf.org.

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