PROJECTCapital for Communities Scorecard Digital User Guide

Navigation
  • Project Home
  • Why We Created the Scorecard
  • How the Scorecard Can Be Used
  • How the Scorecard Is Organized
  • What You Need to Get Started
  • Interpreting and Applying Results
  • Beta Testing the Opportunity Zone Community Impact Assessment Tool
  • Creating the Scorecard
  • About the Authors

  • Interpreting and Applying Results

    The score is designed to indicate the potential social impact a project could achieve based on a user’s answers to the tool questions. We trust users to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their knowledge. If users are uncertain of or disagree on community priorities or anticipated project impacts, they may receive different scores even when evaluating the same project. When this occurs, we hope it sparks broader community discussion and closer consideration of the project’s impacts and opportunities for improvement. Your score should serve as just one input when considering whether a project is likely to yield social benefits.

    Overall project scores will fall into one of the following five tiers.

    • 85 points or more: Based on your responses, the proposed project receives a “very high” score for expected community impact. If the project conforms to responses when executed, it is likely to provide strong social benefits that are aligned with community priorities.
    • 65 to 84 points: Based on your responses, the proposed project receives a “high” score for expected community impact. If the project conforms to responses when executed, it is likely to provide substantial social benefits that are aligned with community priorities.
    • 50 to 64 points: Based on your responses, the proposed project receives a “moderate” score for expected community impact. If the project conforms to responses when executed, it is likely to provide moderate social benefits or benefits that are not fully aligned with community priorities.
    • 49 points or fewer: Based on your responses, the proposed project receives a “low” score for expected community impact. If the project conforms to responses when executed, it is unlikely to provide social benefits and may conflict with or fail to align with community priorities.

    Verifying Responses and Accountability

    For this tool to be useful, those completing the questions must provide honest answers. One way to improve transparency and accuracy of responses is to ask project sponsors to share the results of their scores publicly so that others may verify the responses provided. Communities might also consider asking several stakeholders to complete the tool with the information provided from the project sponsor to verify that they arrive at the same score.

    Your scorecard may also be a good starting point to negotiate more formalized agreements between the project sponsor and the community. Community members may wish to execute agreements with project sponsors to hold them to their commitments. Investors may also use the results to hold project sponsors accountable to the commitments they have made.

    Limitations of the Scorecard

    The Capital for Communities Scorecard can be useful in understanding the social impact of new projects, but it has limitations:

    • The tool is not comprehensive. As described in the appendix, we developed the questions based on research, insights, and feedback from community leaders and experts in the field, as well as from data and feedback gathered from multiple rounds of user testing. But these may not be the right questions for your project or your community. We account for a variety of community priorities by allowing users to rank which categories are of greatest importance to their community, but some communities may have priorities not included in the tool.
    • The tool does not assess project feasibility. A project that receives a high score may still not be financially viable, and tool users should account for that in their plans. Your scorecard is not the final word whether your project is good—it is one piece of information among various factors for consideration.
    • The tool requires detailed knowledge of the key components of a proposed project. The tool can be used early or late in a project’s design. The tool may be more challenging to complete in the early stages of a project, when not all elements are known yet, but it may also be useful at this phase because project sponsors are still able to modify the project’s planned features based on the tool’s insights. On the other hand, later-stage projects can be easier to assess in the tool because more is known about them, but a developer may face more difficulty using insights from the tool if the design and components are more locked in. Moreover, because the tool requires detailed knowledge of the key components of a proposed project, community-based organizations or neighborhood residents may find it difficult to use without the cooperation of the developer or project sponsor.
    • The tool does not delve deeply on a specific social impact area. The tool is designed to be comprehensive and cover a wide range of social impact areas. Users looking to thoroughly interrogate specific elements of a project, such as environmental impact, should consult other tools or resources. We include additional, topic-specific tools and resources in the Supplemental Resources document available on the tool’s landing page.
    Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
    Tags Capital flows Community and economic development Community development finance and CDFIs Equitable development Impact investing Inclusive recovery Neighborhood change Racial and ethnic disparities Racial inequities in neighborhoods and community development
    Policy Centers Research to Action Lab Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
    Related Content