The Walton Family Foundation’s community organizing campaign is designed to mobilize residents in 13 cities to become civically engaged and to advocate for high-quality traditional and alternative schools. Community Science was contracted to complete the developmental evaluation by examining grantees’ progress in using the community organizing strategy, as well as research how philanthropic support can be used to support community organizing efforts of national organizations (e.g., PICO, Metro IAF, etc.) and local organizations to develop resident power to achieve educational equity through the choice of high-quality schools.

We collected qualitative and quantitative data through site visits that included representatives from grantee organizations, resident leaders, and key informants; semi-structured interviews with grantee organizations; a document review and content analysis of grant reports in the foundation’s portfolio; and a capacity assessment of community engagement and organizing grantees. The evaluation team drafted individual case studies and a cross-case analysis using this data, to provide a rich understanding of the strategy in six selected communities and to guide future foundation investments. The evaluation team also drafted a series of short memos to provide quick turnaround analyses and recommendations to inform the foundation’s strategy. We worked with a learning partnership, comprised of subject matter experts in education and civic engagement, throughout the process to deepen the richness and usefulness of evaluation findings.  00551