The Ruth Mott Foundation’s mission is to advocate, stimulate, and support community vitality in our community of Flint, Michigan. The goal of the foundation’s 2016–2025 strategic plan is that residents of north Flint neighborhoods create and sustain opportunities to contribute and thrive.
As a place-based grantmaker, the foundation uses community-level data internally to establish baseline data. Those data, in combination with local relationships and knowledge of other community initiatives, guide the foundation’s grantmaking strategy in the community’s context and assist with data-driven decision-making. Externally, the dashboard supports community engagement through access to local data.
The foundation partnered with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University to develop a community-level dashboard to be used by the foundation and community. It is accessible through the foundation’s website, displays data on indicators for north Flint, and can be used to generate reports comparing north Flint to the city of Flint, Genesee County, and state of Michigan.
While establishing a dashboard does not directly lead to the achievement of the foundation’s strategic goal, the North Flint Community Dashboard was developed as a practical tool to support decision-making, develop a common understanding of progress, and build mutual accountability with the community related to the foundation’s priority areas of youth, public safety, economic opportunity, and neighborhoods. The dashboard is used by program staff and potential grantees around grantmaking. Staff use the data and visuals for reference during both the due diligence and board documentation process. Potential grantees use the dashboard to develop needs statements and identify potential grant reporting metrics for the foundation and other funders.
Upthegrove Gregory, T., & Gordillo, L. (2022). Engaging Community to Build a Community Dashboard. The Foundation Review, 14(3). https://doi.org/10.9707/1944-5660.1620
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