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 "content recommendations"). For questions or assistance, please contact
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Climate Resilience Analysis: A Rubric to Measure Climate Resilience in Greater Boston

February 28, 2022

The Barr Foundation Climate Program initiated this Climate Resilience Analysis to establish a framework and methodology for analyzing progress towards climate resilience in the Greater Boston metro region. The goals of this project are to:Establish a rubric to measure progress on policies and practices forclimate resilience in Greater Boston, aligned with the BarrFoundation's goals for climate resilience.Identify the gains the Greater Boston region has made to becomemore climate resilient.Understand the changing landscape/context in Massachusetts onclimate resilience.Stantec, as the Barr Foundation's consultant, led the effort to create a survey to assess current policies and practices related to resilience at the municipal and regional level in Greater Boston. Responses to the survey have informed a qualitative resilience rubric that measures climate resilience in the region and identifies opportunities to strengthen it. The Barr Foundation Climate Program intends to utilize this assessment to shape its funding programs to meet the greatest areas of need.

Climate - Resilience

Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative: Executive Summary of Final Evaluation

January 1, 2018

The Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative ("BKI") was created and funded by the Barr Foundation ("Barr") and The Klarman Family Foundation ("KFF") and managed by nonprofit research and consulting group TDC. Launched in early 2012 by the Barr Foundation, with The Klarman Family Foundation joining in partnership shortly thereafter, the Initiative sought to support the artistic quality and long-term strength of select arts and cultural institutions in Boston. BKI served 30 organizations across three cohorts –1) large/mid-size, 2) small/mid-size and 3) youth arts mastery organizations. The Initiative focused on four capacity areas:1.Role of effective capitalization2.Diversifying audiences3.Defining and achieving arts mastery outcomes with youth4.Growing cultural competency and proficiency.Over five years, the Initiative invested over $22 million through multi-year grants, knowledge-building activities, and technical assistance. At the time of the Initiative's design, both foundations were in an early phase of building their arts programs and were also new to collaborating with each other, so while the Initiative had broad goals and principles, it also retained an approach of adaptation to changing needs and learning along the way.

Arts - Adaptive and Relevant Organizations and Artists

Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative Financial Health Evaluation Summary

January 1, 2018

This document provides an overview of a financial health evaluation TDC conducted in 2017 to capture the financial health trends of a Boston-based cohort of arts organizations who participated in the Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative (2012-2017), a joint grant program of the Barr Foundation and The Klarman Family Foundation. TDC's financial health evaluation was designed to impart a clear financial picture of the cohort at the program's end, as well as complement the qualitative evaluation of the Initiative (2016-2017) led by Diane Espaldon and Sara Peterson.The financial health evaluation measured the growth and scale of grantees' operations over the course of the Initiative; assessed cumulative financial health; and observed capitalization literacy. TDC evaluators provided each grantee with a capitalization assessment reflecting their organization's balance sheet and income statement trends over the course of the program. Grantees subsequently participated in a follow-up phone interview with TDC to discuss their financial results, and answer questions regarding the impact of the Initiative's capitalization training program on their strategic decision-making and financial goal-setting. With a sample of 30 organizations, TDC evaluated grantee financial performance in the context of each organization's individual goals, not against a cohort-wide benchmark. Cohort-wide trends were elicited from an aggregation of individual performance.This summary document provides an overview of the Initiative's capitalization program, the capitalization framework TDC employed, and high-level results from the financial health evaluation.

Arts - Adaptive and Relevant Organizations and Artists

Ready Educators Quality Improvement Pilot: Linking Program Improvement to Child Outcomes

December 30, 2014

This report is an evaluation of the first year of the Ready Educators Quality Improvement Pilot (REQIP), part of Thrive in 5's city-wide Ready Educators strategy. The pilot provided technical assistance and support to early education and care programs in centers and family child care homes that serve children from birth to age five. The REQIP theory of change posits that, to meet the goal of improved child outcomes, programs need to build "sustainable independent capacity to operationalize a continuous quality improvement process (CQI)." As the Pilot was envisioned, CQI involved the development of a Program Improvement Plan (PIP) through an assessment based on child-level and program data and with support from a Quality Improvement Partner (QIP). The PIP would then serve as the basis for technical assistance to meet the goals of the PIP, followed by a re-assessment using program and childlevel data. This CQI process would be sustained over time, in an ongoing continuous loop. In July 2013, after a competitive RFP process and with funding from the Barr Foundation, Thrive in 5 selected Wellesley Centers for Women to serve as the QIP.


Formative Evaluation Report on the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Energy Initiative

June 1, 2012

This Interim Report provides the results of process evaluation activity undertaken to review the MAPC's Clean Energy Division's first year of operation (July 2011-June 2012). MAPC proposed to support cities and towns within the MAPC region to focus on clean energy and energy efficiency. Their theory of change involves recognizing that cities and towns are interested in developing their own clean energy solutions but lack the internal technical and logistical capacity to identify, develop and implement best practices and programs. MAPC proposed to fill this gap with a range of technical assistance, collective procurement, regionalization and policy projects. The evaluation found that the MAPC intervention identified significant potential energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions, and strategies to realize these savings.

Climate - Clean Energy

Creative Disruption: Sabbaticals for Capacity Building and Leadership Development in the Nonprofit Sector

January 20, 2010

Based on a survey, examines the outcomes of sabbaticals for nonprofit leaders, their organizations, leadership transitions, and sponsoring foundations, as well as lessons learned and challenges. Includes case studies.

Arts Service Organizations: A Study of Impact and Capacity

August 16, 2005

Evaluates the capacity of arts and cultural organizations during a two-year initiative while they assisted other small nonprofits and individual artists. Addresses issues of funding and partnerships; includes recommendations.

Arts - Adaptive and Relevant Organizations and Artists

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