Assessing the Impact of a Faith-based Grantmaking Program
This study was designed to help Hope for San Diego (HFSD), a faith-based grantmaking organization in San Diego, California, measure the impact of their grantmaking program on the grantee organizations. Coffman and Beer’s (2016) framework for designing an evaluation of a philanthropic program guided the evaluation. The evaluation is grounded in research on the identity formation of grantmaking organizations, the impact of financial support on nonprofit organizations, the role of volunteerism in nonprofit operations, and the intersection of religion, volunteerism, and philanthropy. The mixed-method evaluation included a review of grant applications, grant reports, financial records (IRS Form 990), and volunteer records. The qualitative component included semi-structured interviews with five of the grantee organizations to determine on how the grantees define the impact of an HFSD grant, how perceived impact might vary across organizations, how, if at all, they see HFSD as distinctive among grantmakers, and how they describe the overall relationship with HFSD. Findings produced recommendations that align with its relational approach to the affiliates and build on HFSD’s identity as an architect of change in the grantmaking community.