Foundations often fund research and tools that can help the philanthropic and public sectors direct effective investments to the communities they care about. California foundations and their research partners can offer issue-area expertise that not only contribute to the knowledge of best grantmaking practices, but also inform sound policy decision-making by elected officials. Both can significantly impact community-based organizations that support programs and services in area such as health, the arts, the environment, education, community development, and civic engagement.
Arts & Culture
An Unfinished Canvas: Arts Education in California: This series of reports issued by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation explores topics of relevance to arts education. The latest report, An Unfinished Canvas: Local Partnerships in Support of Arts Education explores the role of partnerships between local arts organizations and schools and districts in supporting elementary arts education in California. A summary of the series is available for download.
Advance the Arts: A website designed to share on-the-ground knowledge, resources and experiences among those working to grow local funding for the arts. It is part of Communities Advancing the Arts, an initiative of
The James Irvine Foundation that involves nine California community foundations pursuing local strategies to strengthen the arts sector in their communities.
Community and Economic Development
Struggling to Make Ends Meet in the Bay Area: United Way of the Bay Area produced report, analyzes the hidden poor who subsist in a "policy gap" where they earn too much income to qualify for most supports yet still struggle to meet their most basic needs, especially as the costs of housing, health care and other necessities continue to outpace increases in income.
Annual Silicon Valley Index: Report produced by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which seeks to report on indicators of strength of the economy and the health of Silicon Valley communities—highlighting challenges and providing an analytical foundation for leadership and decision-making.
Civic Engagement and Strengthening Democracy
Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities: Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing, and Civic Engagement: The California Endowment and the Conrad Hilton Foundation, in partnership with NCG's regional association partner, Southern California Grantmakers, supported this report that highlights the positive impact that Los Angeles communities have seen through funder-supported nonprofit advocacy and organizing.
Statewide Surveys: Series produced by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in partnership with the Public Policy Institute of California. Provides independent, objective, nonpartisan information on the social, economic, and political attitudes and policy preferences underlying ballot choices in statewide races and citizens' initiatives. Recent reports capture citizen perceptions on education, government, higher education, and information technology.
EdSource began participating in major collaborative multi-institutional research projects in the late 1990s when the were invited by the American Institutes for Research to be on the team that conducted a four-year, state-funded evaluation of California's Class Size Reduction program. They have served as prime contractor and project director for various other research projects supported by NCG members such as the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.
California's Early Learning & Development System, 2010: Guide funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation that serves as a resource for California policymakers and advocates, to help them navigate the state's programs, services and available funding streams.
Climate Change: The U.S. Foundation Response: Research advisory released by The Foundation Center which highlights the leadership of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation who awarded nearly $550 million in climate change-related grants in 2008.
Step-by-Step Approach for Marine Spatial Planning toward Ecosystem-based Management: Professional guide released through partnership with The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. This guide is primarily intended for professionals responsible for the management (including planning) of marine areas and their resources. The intent is to fill a knowledge gap between scientists, technical professionals and policymakers, by using a step-by-step approach for developing, implementing, and maintaining marine spatial planning efforts.
The Critical Connection between Student Health and Academic Achievement: How Schools and Policymakers Can Achieve a Positive Impact: Report produced from a multi-year project addressing the connection between student health and academic achievement. The project is funded by The California Endowment, the James Irvine Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Kidsdata.org: Project of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health that offers more than 300 indicators on the health and well being of children in communities across California. The purpose is to promote the health and well-being of children by making trustworthy information easily accessible to policymakers, service providers, grantseekers, media, parents, educators, and others who influence kids' lives.
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