Assessing Our Impact

Sharing our 2017 grantee perception report

Last fall, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund invited our grantee community to provide unfiltered feedback on our work. We asked about the quality of their interactions with the Fund, the effectiveness of our grantmaking practices, and their perspectives on our knowledge of the issues and communities in which they work.

All that valuable information was collected, compiled and analyzed by the Center for Effective Philanthropy, an independent nonprofit organization focused on the development of data and insight to enable higher-performing funders. The resulting 2017 Grantee Perception Report helps us assess our progress towards our own improvement goals. It also serves as an important temperature check for all of us at the Fund.

We’re immensely grateful to all who contributed their time and wisdom.

Gratifyingly, many respondents report that, in general, the Fund is an effective partner. We’re also generally improving as compared to our past ratings as captured in our 2007 and 2012 Grantee Perception Reports.

As part of our commitment to transparency, we invite you to share in this report’s findings — the good news, the challenges identified, and the steps we are already taking.

In Brief

With 63% of current grantees responding, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund received strong ratings for:

Overall, how would you rate the Fund’s impact on your field?

1 = No impact | 7 = Significant positive impact

Chart with the title: How well does the Fund understand the field in which you work?

“The biggest strength of the Fund by far is the staff. Our program officer is essential in our ability to successfully obtain funding from the Hass Sr. Fund. She has an authentic knowledge of our organization, our community, and the field at large and offers us important insights.”

This positive feedback is tempered by some ongoing challenges:

Did the Fund conduct a site visit during the course of this grant?

Proportion of grantees responding “yes”

Chart with the title: Did the Fund conduct a site visit during the course of this grant?

The Data

For more detail on the above high-level summary, we invite you to review the full 2017 Grantee Perception Report. Our Grantee Perception Reports from 2012 and 2007 are both available in full online as well.

Past Reports

2012 GPR 2007 GPR


Next Steps

Information is valuable, but only insofar as it leads to action and improvement.

Well before commissioning this latest Grantee Perception Report, the board and staff of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund have been discussing how we learn about and understand the impact of our grants, so we can better respond to the opportunities and challenges before us. This latest report confirms we’re taking the right steps to join grantees in taking a deeper look at the outcomes of their work.

“Refreshingly friendly, accommodating, and easy to communicate with. Quick, accurate and honest responses. Always helpful and supportive in any situation. The Haas Sr. Fund feels like a true “angel in our corner,” always there to give support, advice, suggestions, or help in any way.”

As a connected team, we have been working to tease out what we’re learning from each grant we make, each grantee we fund, and the cumulative effects our work has on the community. We collect data and require reporting, but we are demanding more from ourselves — we have to translate the information we gather into actionable intelligence.

In this process and in others, our work is driven by our grantees; If we ask for something of them — a report, for example — we want to give something back in return, beyond funding. By sharing our learning, we will create a positive feedback loop that amplifies our ability to build a healthy, just, and vibrant society.

Part of achieving this goal will mean continuing and increasing our commitment to responsive communications and collaborative relationships. Practically, this will be evidenced in increased site visits, more time spent discussing strategy and results with grantees, and more substantial communications in general.

As we hope this report and our presentation of it here demonstrates, we are open to your feedback. We’re working to ensure access and to create opportunity for people across the Bay Area. For your collaboration in this work, we are grateful.

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