Barr Foundation Knowledge Center

This collection includes publications and resources from our partners and in our program areas, both current and legacy. These resources are completely free to access and download. Most of these works were funded by the Barr Foundation. We may occasionally feature items relevant to our program areas which were not funded by Barr. Please be aware that views expressed are not necessarily those of the Barr Foundation. We encourage you to search our collection and suggest potential content to include (use "Suggest an Addition"). For questions or assistance, please contact feedback@barrfoundation.org.
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Featured

Strengthening Capacity and Equity in New England Evaluation

August 10, 2021

This report presents results from the Strengthening Capacity and Equity in New England Evaluation (SCENE) study. The SCENE study was conducted between August 2020 and August 2021 by a research group at Boston College with funding from the Barr Foundation.The purpose was three-fold: (1) to characterize evaluation providers, evaluation practices, and evaluators working in the New England area; (2) to explore whether and how evaluators address inequities and advance equity; and (3) to identify ways to strengthen capacity and equity among evaluators within the region. By providing an initial assessment to inform future capacity building and learning initiatives, we aim to inform regional evaluation practitioners and commissioners interested in advancing equity in evaluation. Findings are particularly relevant to local affiliates of the American Evaluation Association, including: Greater Boston Evaluators Network, Vermont Evaluation Network, Connecticut Area Evaluators' Network, Maine Evaluation Society. We also sought to address gaps in the evaluation literature regarding what equity and equity-focused evaluation mean and look like in practice. We plan to submit study results for publication/dissemination in academic journals.

Nonprofit Sector Effectiveness

Talent Justice Report: Investing in Equity in the Nonprofit Workforce

May 29, 2019

Produced by Fund the People and the Center for Urban and Racial Equity, this comprehensive report offers important findings on the challenges and opportunities of investing in intersectional racial equity in the U.S. nonprofit workforce.With over 12 million paid workers, nonprofits employ the third largest U.S. workforce. This means 1 in 10 people work in the nonprofit sector. Despite its size and impact, nonprofits face a chronic deficit of investment in their staff.To further complicate matters, the nonprofit workforce struggles to attract, retain, and support people from racially, ethnically, and otherwise diverse backgrounds to build a robust and durable talent pipeline. Our research gathered and analyzed data from over 1,400 survey responses, 3 focus groups, 20 interviews, and a literature review.

Nonprofit Sector Effectiveness

Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector

February 5, 2019

This report reveals that women of color encounter systemic obstacles to their advancement over and above the barriers faced by white women and men of color. Education and training are not the solution—women of color with high levels of education are more likely to be in administrative roles and are more likely to report frustrations about inadequate and inequitable salaries. BMP's call to action focuses on systems change, organizational change, and individual support for women of color in the sector. 

Nonprofit Sector Effectiveness

Engaging Boards and Trustees in Strategic Learning: A Toolkit

January 17, 2019

Effecting social change in a rapidly changing political environment and an increasingly interconnected world requires foundations to adopt a learning orientation. Without continuous learning, grantmakers—and thus boards and trustees—are unaware about what is working where, with whom, and why, as well as what changes or refinements are needed in order to achieve the grantmakers' desired results.This toolkit provides a fresh set of resources for grantmaker CEOs, evaluation staff, and senior leaders to use to engage their boards and trustees in conversations about the importance of strategic learning in their decision-making and deliberation processes.

Nonprofit Sector Effectiveness

Only Connect: How an Investment in Relationships Among Social Change Leaders Is Changing Them, Their Organizations, and Their City

June 18, 2013

Key Points· After years of leading social-sector organizations in an environment where competition is more the norm than collaboration, many gifted leaders are near burnout, unable to maximize their gifts. Since 2005, the Barr Fellowship has been changing that in Boston.· This network of leaders, created by the Barr Foundation, is based on the hypothesis that recognizing talented leaders and investing in their personal growth and connections with one another will result in individual, collective, and city transformation.· A longtime funder of networks, Barr designed the fellowship as a "connectivity" network, where collective actions and shared agendas might emerge but would not be imposed. In this way, the fellowship exemplifies what has been described as "ambidextrous philanthropy" – rooted in strategy yet also in values; focused on outcomes, yet also responsive.· This article describes the theory of change; strategy; evaluation methodology (including network mapping); results – for Barr Fellows, their organizations, and Boston; and how the program fits within an approach to philanthropy that embraces the long view. It discusses implications for funders interested in supporting connectivity networks.

Nonprofit Sector Effectiveness

Catalytic Change: Lessons Learned from the Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment

May 1, 2009

ARC and PRE designed the Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment to help foundation staff and leaders understand the benefits of being explicit about racial equity, and to determine the degree to which their work is advancing racial justice. This report is based on the pilot process, and is intended to share insights into some of the barriers within the philanthropic sector that stand in the way of achieving racial justice outcomes. It is organized into five segments:This introduction, which provides brief profiles of ARC and PRE, and of the assessment team;A description of the assessment process, including definitions, assumptions, and methodology;An overview of the assessments of the Consumer Health Foundation and the Barr Foundation, including brief profiles of each, summary findings, recommendations, and impacts to date;Lessons learned from the pilot process by the ARC-PRE assessment team; andAppendices with more detailed findings, recommendations, and initial impacts for each foundation.

Nonprofit Sector Effectiveness

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