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Clark Foundation Partnership to Support Nonprofit Grantees


The Clark Foundation and The Rensselaerville Institute have been partnering for several years to help nonprofits become more efficient and effective. Recently, both organizations worked together to analyze their efforts and better understand how to achieve the best results by reviewing the experiences of 13 grantees in New York.

Several themes emerged in the research, including three main successes:

  • Improved outcomes for participants

  • Increased funding and resources

  • Increased their own efficiency and capacity 

Collecting and using data has helped us to realize we have expertise about volunteering that may be helpful for others. We were able to prove our theory that saying thank you matters. We share data with staff regularly so they can know what is going on and see the impact of their efforts.   We can intercept challenges – either explain or fix before it becomes a problem.

Using data in decision-making brings clarity.

- Gary Bagley, Executive Director, New York Cares

The benefits of outcome thinking have included helping us to tell the Fortune Story in a more substantive way and focus on our mission, on people, on what matters and our values.  It also helps us understand the many doors clients may take into Fortune Society, how people enter and progress, what is working and not working  and change offerings accordingly.  

-  JoAnne Page, President & CEO, The Fortune Society

We had just promoted a staff person and at 7 weeks, we noticed student attendance was going down (and because we had early warning system, we discovered at 7 weeks, not the 9 month mark when sending a report to the funder) so were able to make changes and fix the situation.

-- John Sanchez, Executive Director, East Side House Settlement

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