The Walton Family Foundation’s Strategy, Learning & Evaluation Department (SLED) engages program staff, grantees and philanthropic partners with rigorous and equitable practices that foster continuous learning. For more information, read the Walton Family Foundation’s Approach to Strategy, Learning & Evaluation and Guide to Measuring Success.
The foundation engages in Strategic Learning - the collection and use of data to inform decision-making. It makes our grantmaking more nimble – evolving to reflect what we learn and helping our partners have greater impact. For more information, read our Introduction to Strategic Learning at WFF and Guide to Strategy Micro-Shifts.
To support our strategic learning efforts, we’ve also developed a Before- and After-Action Review tool, a free resource open to all.
Performance Measures and Grant Evaluation
The Walton Family Foundation is committed to strategic philanthropy, including structured planning as well as evaluation and learning. This approach informs all our grantmaking and efforts to learn from our own work and the work of our grantees. It helps the foundation and grantees stay accountable in service of social and environmental impact.
We use performance measurement to understand, learn from and improve the foundation's strategies and the work of grantees. Grantees are responsible for draft performance measures as part of the initial proposal development process. These are reviewed by the grantee’s program officer, revised (as necessary) with the grantee and approved by the Strategy, Learning & Evaluation Department (SLED). As grants close, grantees may be invited to participate in a 60-minute reflection and learning conversation. Here's a brief explanation about what to expect: What to Expect When You're Expecting a Grant Evaluation.
We know our grantees are closest to the challenges they seek to overcome. We believe learning alongside them is the most effective way to achieve long-term progress. We encourage grant applicants to review the materials below, which explain how to compose performance measures that drive shared learning, strategic adaptation and greater impact.
Once grantees register with the Metrics Bank, they may start customizing a selection of model metrics to reflect the nature of their work.
For more information, read the step-by-step guide or go straight to the Metrics Bank.
Please email email@example.com with any questions.
Performance measures play an important role in grantmaking – to help grantees and the Walton Family Foundation understand if goals have been achieved during the grant period. In these videos, grantees will learn how to establish performance measures, which can determine the success of project and provide valuable learnings along the way.
Developing Good Performance Measures for K-12 Education Grants
Developing Good Performance Measures for Environment Grants
May 10, 2019How meaningful accountability systems can strengthen foundation learning and improve impact
April 20, 2018Partnerships between traditional public schools and charters yield success for students
December 5, 2017To sustain and expand public school choice, more cities must adopt best practices
December 15, 2016Hear an interview with Marc Holley on The Leaders' Table Podcast
September 29, 2016Deciding whether to go with the flow or to deviate from the group
January 27, 2016CREDO study finds most online charters have a negative impact on students' academic achievement
January 4, 20165 grant performance measurement traps and how to avoid them
April 23, 2015Our plan flopped. We didn't give up. We changed course.
March 15, 2015Seeing what’s possible has compelled us to invest with increased urgency.
March 7, 2014The framework and process for measuring results at the Walton Family Foundation
December 31, 2014An Evaluation of the Walton Family Foundation’s Approach to Investing in New Charter Schools
April 1, 2014Evaluating Efforts to Promote Shifts in Policy Requires Methods That Are Rigorous and Flexible
October 1, 2013New political circumstances, growing popularity