Making the Case™
In 2009 Women's Funding Alliance (WFA) made an important investment in its grantmaking infrastructure by adopting a grant evaluation system known as "Making the Case". This system has been specifically designed to equip social change funders to better articulate and increase the impact of our social change investments. Making the Case was developed by the internationally recognized Women's Funding Network, in collaboration with over seventy women's funds around the globe.
WFA chose to adopt the Making the Case system because of its ability to help us leverage our investments, clearly convey the impact of our work and more effectively partner with our community to advance social change.
The Making the Case system helps us achieve these things by:
- Using five consistent indicators of social change to help grantees effectively measure and communicate their impact.
- Collecting the same data across all WFA grants to create insights about the aggregate impact of our funding.
- Tracking grantees' "course corrections" and "successes" to help inform future grant investments.
- Providing a framework for grantees to plan and proactively think about their social change work.
- Integrating a system from application through evaluation to support grantees in moving from intent to social change impact.
- Fostering grantee peer-exchange and learning through a common language and evaluation format.
The indicators of social change reflect five types of social change action or "shifts" that can be used alone, or in combination, to achieve social change. The five shifts are defined as:
- Shift in Definitions or Reframing: A particular issue is viewed differently in our community or the larger society as a result of our work.
- Shift in Individual or Community Behavior: Specific behavior changes in an individual or the community we serve occur as a result of our work.
- Shift in Critical Mass/Engagement: People in our community or the larger society become more engaged as a result of our work.
- Shift in Institutions/Policy: A specific organizational, local, regional, state, national or international policy or practice changes as a result of our work.
- Maintaining Current Position/Holding the Line: We have been able to maintain earlier progress on an issue in the face of opposition.
Please visit the Women's Funding Network for more information About Making the Case.