Refine your search by topic:
Refine your search by audience:

The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation

Farash Foundation Impact Measurement and Evaluation Plan

Partner

The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation

Project

Farash Foundation Impact Measurement and Evaluation Plan

Question

How does a 10-year-old foundation develop its first comprehensive data collection and impact measurement system?

Summary

 

Max and Marian Farash created the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation  (the Farash Foundation) in 1988 with the goal of supporting Jewish and secular causes in Monroe and Ontario counties in New York state. The foundation’s grantmaking is an example of place-based philanthropy, defined as “philanthropy that addresses interconnected issues affecting population outcomes in one defined geography.” The foundation’s main giving areas are: Education, Jewish Life, and Entrepreneurship. Additional focus area include Arts and Culture; and more recently, Covid-19 Relief and Recovery.

Although the foundation was established in 1988, it wasn’t monetized and staffed by professionals until 2011. Foundation staff and trustees spent a lot of time thinking about measurement from a systems-change lens: what it could measure with its grants and what it could hope to accomplish for individuals in Monroe and Ontario Counties through those systems changes. In 2020, the foundation embarked on a new strategic planning process and partnered with Root Cause to develop its first comprehensive data collection and impact measurement system to align with that plan. The foundation wanted to develop and launch this system to accomplish three overarching, interconnected goals:

  • Have the ability to assess the foundation’s overall impact, within each of its focus areas and relative to community needs 
  • Optimize grantmaking and broader strategies to maximize that impact
  • Support learning and continuous improvement for the foundation and its grantees

Goals & Results

 

Beginning in August 2020, Root Cause, led by Principal Anand Dholakia, embarked on a four-phase journey with the Farash Foundation: 

  • Review the measurement context, confirm objectives, and develop a Theory of Change
  • Define metrics, outcomes measures, and milestones
  • Develop the measurement process, tools, and reports
  • Launch the measurement system and build measurement capacity 

In Phase 1, Root Cause worked closely with the foundation to define the measurement context. We assessed Monroe and Ontario County’s community needs and opportunities as they related to the foundation’s key giving areas. Together, the foundation’s Trustees, staff, community partners, and the Root Cause team formed a Measurement Working Group, developed a Theory of Change that examined the root causes of community disparities, identified key inputs to address these disparities, and selected metrics for measuring the short- and medium-term impact of these inputs. For example, we identified “more equitable and improved meaningful graduation from high school” as a key outcome in grantmaking activities for Education. We then provided relevant metrics that would allow the foundation to track progress towards success, including:

  • High school credits completed
  • Social determinants of education such as food insecurity and absenteeism; and of course,
  • High school graduation rates

After developing the Theory of Change and the desired outcomes and metrics for each giving area, we developed the measurement process and tools needed to assess the foundation’s overall impact and optimize its grantmaking strategies. The final deliverables include the Theory of Change, a Measurement Process and Tools Overview, a Grant Selection Questions Template, and a Grant Assessment Questions Template.

The project wrapped up in February 2021, with Root Cause Principal, Sonja Okun, supporting implementation of the process and tools developed by the Measurement Working Group.

News:

Farash Foundation
Farash Foundation Appoints New CEO

Read More >

About the Partner

Farash Foundation Logo

The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation

Work
With Us

    Call Button