Model Partnerships for Impact: The Weingart Foundation and Moms Orange County

Sep 21, 2016

This is one of a series of case studies that grounds IS' larger post-Threads power dynamic work by providing the cornerstone for a set of prototype tools to help aid the transfer of healthy behaviors, practices, and conditions from one relationship to another. This case study reflects a number of transferable behaviors, practices, and conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Investment in organizations, not programs or projects. Weingart's commitment to building more effective organizations gave MOMS the flexibility to determine what that meant to them. They were able to leverage this flexibility not only to expand their reach, but also to conduct scientific research to validate their model.
  • Grounded in shared vision and goals. Both organizations want to see improved lives for vulnerable populations in Southern California. For MOMS, that is a specific focus on atrisk mothers and babies and for Weingart, it is ensuring MOMS has the internal capacity to achieve that goal.
  • Focusing on the desire to learn. MOMS and Weingart share the understanding that the desired goals specified in each engagement are a baseline for learning rather than a basis for punitive assessment.
  • No cap on how long funding will last. As long as an organization can meet Weingart's criteria, they are open to funding them. Effective organizations never stop building or strengthening their capacity.
  • Retaining a nonprofits' right to be responsive to issues in the communities in which they are working. Weingart's measure of success is the extent to which it has increased an organization's effectiveness in serving its community. Providing grantees flexibility allowed MOMS to adapt to the changing needs of their communities. This means trusting the organization to know how to achieve its goals.
  • Developing grant strategies and programs that are responsive to the real needs of nonprofits. Weingart believes that funders are most effective when they solicit and incorporate feedback from grantees and applicants into their grantmaking plans. Weingart develops an annual program plan that is informed by engaging the nonprofit to better understand its needs, challenges, and opportunities.
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