Community Foundations Leading Change

Community Foundations Leading Change

Community Foundations Leading Change (CF Leads) is a national network of community foundations which supports community foundations leading change by advocating for a community leadership approach to improve community outcomes, offering robust peer learning opportunities for community foundations, tackling community issues through unique programming, and creating tools and resources relevant to the field. CF Leads galvanizes action for communities in areas such as racial equity, economic mobility, and gun violence prevention. Korwin Consulting is supporting CF Leads to build an internal evaluation culture through survey data collection of staff and stakeholders, revised and new evaluation tools, an evaluation plan, and strategies in appreciative inquiry and ripple effect mapping.

Women’s Foundation of Mississippi

The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi (WFMS) is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls by promoting social change and economic self-sufficiency. Korwin Consulting has partnered with WFMS to build an evaluative culture within the foundation. Beginning with a retrospective evaluation and visioning process with WFMS staff and board members, Korwin Consulting has helped the foundation to articulate its grantmaking goals, design grant application and reporting tools, and build the evaluation capacity of its women’s economic security grantee cohort. Korwin Consulting worked with WFMS to expand and evaluate their Access to Opportunity Initiative, including the development of a logic model and case studies for the initiative. The Access to Opportunity Initiative builds women’s and girls’ economic opportunity through, or in close partnership with, community college programs.

Download the Access to Opportunity Case Study report here.

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM) aligns people, resources, and community-based services through two-generation (“two-gen”) approaches to reduce poverty and build communities of well-being and prosperity, where women live in self-sufficiency, strength, and safety, sharing their leadership and empowering their children. WFGM’s Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) focuses on young women and girls of color in severely under-resourced Memphis communities ages 12–22 who face grave disparities and inequities. WFGM’s YWI integrates authentic community input, young women’s leadership, and collaborative cross-sector partnerships between philanthropy, nonprofits, and government to develop sustainable strategies that will improve the lives of young women facing the greatest barriers in Memphis and, ultimately, Tennessee. Korwin Consulting partnered closely with WFGM to evaluate data from statewide listening sessions, conduct stakeholder interviews, and review planning materials to develop its YWI launch brief, Young Women and Girls Forging the Future: The Young Women’s Initiative of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis.

The Women’s Foundation of Alabama

The Women’s Foundation of Alabama supports a two-generation approach to ending generational poverty. Korwin Consulting partnered with the Foundation to evaluate its most ambitious two-generation initiative to date. Thrive Together selected multi-sector partners — community colleges, nonprofit agencies, government leaders, childcare centers, and faith groups — to join forces to support women and their children in the difficult move beyond poverty. These stakeholder groups developed and led three Family Workforce Hubs in the Greater Birmingham area.

Korwin Consulting conducted a mixed-methods evaluation designed to support the Foundation and its partners to reflect on the strengths, impact, and ongoing opportunities for building the effectiveness, sustainability, and replication of the Thrive Together model.

Women’s Funding Network

Through a network of more than 120 women’s funds and foundations, The Women’s Funding Network (WFN) provides gender justice leaders and advocates with a variety of tools to help them succeed—from research and education, to strategic-led initiatives and events, to advocacy and unifying a collective, amplified voice. Korwin Consulting has worked on several projects with WFN over the years. Most recently, we were integral to the process and evaluation of Women’s Economic Mobility Hubs (WEMH) (2020 – 2021), an initiative in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that invested in 9 U.S.-based women’s funds and foundations implementing place-based models to increase economic mobility for women and gender expansive people and their families. We assisted cohort members in identifying joint metrics to track collective progress and impacts; provided evaluation coaching with the executive and program staff of individual members; and developed interim and final reports and presentations on the achievements, challenges, and lessons gained through this initiative.

Before this, we conducted an evaluation of WFN’s Two-Generation Policy Advocacy Cohort (2017 – 2019), providing evaluation coaching, developing a policy advocacy evaluation webinar for this learning cohort of women’s foundations from across the country, and conducting a mixed methods evaluation about cohort members’ experiences, motivations, and policy outcomes from their individual and collective efforts.

Korwin Consulting also worked as a strategic evaluation partner in WFN’s Partnership for Women’s Prosperity (PWP) — a partnership of U.S. women’s foundations working to help economically vulnerable women and girls gain economic security through education, job training, and employment opportunities — from 2012 through the initiative’s sunset in 2017. Korwin Consulting’s evaluation of PWP revealed that using a systems change framework, which includes emphases on five key approaches — effective programming, creating strong and effective linkages, improving the political environment, developing a strong infrastructure, and taking efforts to scale — can successfully position both local programs and national initiatives to effect change on key social issues.

Download the Partnership for Women’s Prosperity Systems Change Framework report here.


Additional projects with WFN include working with the WFN Fund for Shared Insight initiative, which highlighted best practices women’s foundations are using to increase their openness and transparency.

Groundswell Fund

Groundswell Fund supports a stronger, more effective U.S. movement for reproductive justice (RJ) by mobilizing new funding and capacity-building resources for grassroots organizing and policy change efforts led by women of color, low-income women, and transgender people. Our work to evaluate the impact that Groundswell’s RJ grantees are having on policy, base building, public opinion, and the framing of reproductive health and rights in the U.S. provides information and understanding that help Groundswell and its grantees build the effectiveness and sustainability of the RJ movement.

Korwin Consulting has worked with Groundswell Fund since 2008, evaluating its support for RJ through the Catalyst Fund and, later, other funding initiatives. We have used a combination of interviews, surveys, focus groups, evaluation coaching, and training and have participated in convenings with national and local philanthropic partners and women of color-led RJ organizations hosted by Groundswell. In 2014, we worked with Groundswell staff, grantees, and other stakeholders to design a new online evaluation survey for RJ grantees that would best capture data and stories related to power-building, accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned.

We have also partnered with Groundswell Fund to evaluate Groundswell’s Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) program, which provides technical support to RJ organizations using an innovative approach that blends community organizing and voter engagement in a sustained way to boost the scale and power of grassroots organizations to win systems change. Currently, Korwin Consulting is collaborating with staff on developing evaluation tools and processes that will minimize grantees’ reporting burden for Groundswell Fund’s Liberation Fund, which supports organizations led by prominent women of color and transgender people of color engaging in effective grassroots organizing across social justice sectors.

Women’s Foundation of Minnesota

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFM) is a statewide community foundation investing in innovation to drive gender and racial equity. Korwin Consulting has partnered closely with the Foundation since 2015 by integrating evaluation into its strategies to advance equity for women, girls, and gender-expansive people with an emphasis on communities of color and low-income and immigrant communities. Korwin Consulting serves as the evaluator for many of the Foundation’s initiatives, developing and implementing evaluation strategies that will maximize the impact of its grantmaking programs. Recent and ongoing projects include:

  • Evaluating the various components and strategies of the Young Women’s Initiative (YWI). A public-private partnership between the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota, YWI is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment that centers the leadership and solutions young women and gender-expansive people who identify as Black, Indigenous/Native American, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander, LGBQ+ as well as those who are from Greater/rural Minnesota and those with disabilities.
  • Ongoing partnership with Foundation staff to continue to develop its culture of reflection and strategic learning.
  • Korwin Consulting worked closely with the Foundation to evaluate Minnesota Girls Are Not For Sale, a $7.5 million campaign, launched in November 2011 to end sex trafficking in Minnesota through grantmaking, research, public education, and policy change. Some evaluation efforts focused on understanding the impact of demand-reduction strategies, prevention strategies, and outreach and services to those most impacted by sexual exploitation provided by key community partners in advance of and during the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
  • Other work has included working with the Foundation to develop and implement evaluation strategies to maximize the impact of its grantmaking programs; providing an evaluation capacity building workshop for Foundation staff and Pathways to Prosperity (P2P) grant partners leading programs to build women’s and girls’ economic security at or in close partnership with community colleges; and partnering with the Foundation to evaluate implementation and impact of its strategic plan.

New York Women’s Foundation

The New York Women’s Foundation invests in women (cis and trans) and non-binary community leaders and solutions that advance the economic security, safety, and health of the most overlooked women. It unites cross-cultural alliances that ignite action and build economic, gender, and racial justice for families across New York City and State. Korwin Consulting partners with The Foundation on several initiatives and on deepening its own internal culture of strategic learning and evaluation. Past Korwin Consulting projects included helping The Foundation’s reproductive justice grantee partners measure their own impact by offering group training, one-on-one evaluation coaching, development of an Advocacy Evaluation Resource Guide, and analysis of data submitted in the Women’s Funding Network’s Making the Case online evaluation tool.

Current and ongoing projects include collaborating with Foundation staff and grantee partners to develop and refine theories of change, grant report tools and processes, and conduct group interviews to inform planning and practices related to several initiatives and strategies. Among them are: The Justice Fund, a collaborative grantmaking and philanthropic mobilization effort which aims to dismantle mass incarceration in New York City; The NYC Fund for Girls & Young Women of Color, a collaborative fund to increase sustained investments for girls and young women of color—inclusive of transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary (TGNCNB) youth—to succeed and thrive; The Brooklyn Economic Justice Project, which supports and invests in organizations working collectively to interrupt gentrification and catalyze economic strength and liberation in four Brooklyn neighborhoods; and The Foundation’s Early Investment strategy, which provides funding and capacity building opportunities for nascent organizations to grow and thrive as they develop and implement strategies with their communities to build gender, racial, and other justice movements.

We are also working with the foundation to engage in deeper reflection and planning to inform its day-to-day grantmaking and community engagement strategies and reach the goals outlined in its strategic plan.


New Mexico Community Foundation

The New Mexico Community Foundation Women Building Community Fund exists to support New Mexico women and girls in diverse rural, urban, and immigrant communities. The Women Building Community Fund catalyzes community change by making strategic grants and building permanent resources for New Mexico’s women and girls. The New Mexico Community Foundation joined Groundswell’s Catalyst Fund as a grantmaking partner and awarded grants and technical assistance to grantees advancing a reproductive justice agenda. Korwin Consulting evaluated grantees’ strategies, activities, and progress.

The California Wellness Foundation

The California Wellness Foundation funded 13 urban and rural health consortia and their associated primary health clinics throughout California in order to strengthen their infrastructures and support the provision of primary care to uninsured patients. In collaboration with Schacht & Associates, Korwin Consulting evaluated the impact that Foundation funding has had on the long-term sustainability of the urban and rural consortia and their associated clinics.