Grant Process Documentation and Feedback Study
JC Penney Afterschool Fund supported a grant to the United Way of America and the Forum for Youth Investment to help local United Ways undergo community-wide visioning around out-of-school time (OST) using the Ready by 21 Framework. The pilot grant required two local United Ways to participate in community-wide youth development data collection, program mapping, as well as learn new ways to get leaders from all sectors to work together in the community.
This capacity-building money is a boon to local United Ways and can help target and move an agenda for a pressing community need, such as increasing OST supports for children and youth. Although, this work has the potential to be leveraged across all local United Ways only if both United Way of America and Forum for Youth Investment understand the process that both sites embarked on, what worked and what could be improved.
United Way and the Forum asked Collaborative to document the important lessons learned by telling the story of these two local United Ways.
In close collaboration with the United Way of America, the Forum for Youth Investment and the two local sites in Richmond, VA and Kansas City, MO, Collaborative:
- Reviewed project materials about the grant, as well as materials from both local sites.
- Developed an interview guide to structure the conversation in a way that would help pilot grant leads be reflective and open about the grant and how it impacted their organization and the community.
- Identified fourteen individuals (seven in each community) to interview.
- Wrote a report that included how the local effort unfolded, successes and challenges experienced, results achieved due to the efforts in each community, and lessons learned for other collaborative efforts.
United Way of America and the Forum for Youth Investment can use this specific feedback about what worked and what needs to be improved to make this partnership and community-level work increasingly successful. As Collaborative began learning about the work from the different sites, we were able to pull themes and common threads to help United Way better understand how its local organizations are situated in communities and able to impact and drive change. Eventually, United Way and the Forum can think about how to replicate this model across the nation, and through this report they have tactical, specific improvements and recommendations for moving the work forward.
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