We draw on the unmatched breadth and depth of the entire Urban Institute to provide the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors access to the most relevant and useful evidence to inform and improve performance.
Our strategic advising practice partners with families, corporations, and foundations to provide data and evidence-based insights to improve the impact of their philanthropy and impact investing. We draw on policy expertise within Urban to bring knowledge about the broader philanthropic and policy landscape to inform decisions by those contemplating new strategies for their philanthropy.
To support evidence-informed practice in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, we conduct rapid evidence assessments to help practitioners mobilize the full range of evidence relevant to their programmatic interests. We help clarify where the evidence can inform program design and metrics and where it is insufficient. Our approach takes equity, resource use and costs, and local context into consideration.
Grantmaking and Grantmaking Analysis
Designing a grant program is complex, and in today’s heightened accountability environment, the demands for transparency, greater equity, and greater effectiveness encourage the use of intermediary partners to assist in the grants process. Drawing on our research expertise, we specialize in equitable grantmaking practices and helping foundations learn and apply these practices.
Our grantmaking services include conducting field scans to help funders examine the state of the field; identifying appropriate levers of change to help funders determine appropriate grant recipients; designing and distributing requests for proposals and conducting necessary due diligence; managing and distributing grant awards; and evaluating the grant program’s effectiveness.
Building Capacity to Measure and Manage Performance
We provide capacity-building services to help nonprofits and foundations provide better services, innovate more rapidly, and manage costs. We help them build internal capacity to measure performance, learn what’s working, and continuously improve.
We conduct rigorous evaluations to provide meaningful information on organizational and program effectiveness, using a broad range of research methodologies, for national and local nonprofits, foundations, corporations, and local, state, and federal agencies.