What We Are Learning

Learning and Assessment Framework

The Weingart Foundation has always held learning as a core organizational value. We engage in meaningful learning activities that aim to refine and improve our approaches to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions working to advance racial, social and economic equity in Southern California.

In FY 2014, our Board of Directors approved the following Learning and Assessment Framework, which is designed to comprehensively assess how the Foundation’s Unrestricted Operating Support furthers the organizational effectiveness of our grantees.

Weingart Foundation Learning and Assessment Framework
Learning and Assessment Framework Header Graphic

Grantees will be better able and more effective in addressing needs of low-income and underserved individuals and communities Maintain a grantmaking program that responds to organizational and programmatic need as identified by our grantees Maintain policy and practice to help grantees better provide and sustain their programs and services Exercise leadership in the nonprofit and philanthropic community to influence policy and practice


The Foundation began full implementation of our Learning and Assessment Framework at the start of FY 2016, allowing us to systematically capture grantee data across seven areas of organizational effectiveness for all of our Unrestricted Operating Support (UOS) grantees with grants over $25,000 in size. As part of the new framewok, executive directors from grantee organizations are asked to complete a Grantee Survey in lieu of a final report, as well as engage in a close-out conversation with their Foundation program officer.

Moving forward, we will begin to gather and analyze end-point data for organizations closing out their UOS grants. This will allow us to further deepen our understanding of how unrestricted dollars specifically contribute to nonprofits’ ability to strengthen capacity and effectiveness.

Learning and Assessment Framework Information and Resources

  • In April 2018, the Foundation released a report sharing baseline data gathered from our second full year under our Learning and Assessment Framework.
  • For a more detailed overview of the framework, including information on how applicants and grantees are impacted, please click here to read a message from Belen Vargas, Senior Vice President. 
  • In addition, on September 15, 2015 the Foundation held a webinar to walk nonprofit organizations through the framework’s goals, processes and tools, as well as answer questions. For a full recording of the webinar, as well as related materials, click here.

Listening & Learning

The Foundation remains committed to continue to listen and learn from nonprofits and communities in an ongoing effort to refine and strengthen our approaches to advance equity.

Community Engagement: As part of our ongoing practice of grantee listening, the Foundation will continue to engage with nonprofit leaders representing the diversity of our service region. We will meet with grantees outside of the application process to gather information on: 1) perception and feedback on the Foundation’s programs and practice, 2) current challenges and opportunities in the field, and 3) recommendations to inform our future work and direction.

Special Assessments: The Foundation will continue to conduct special assessments to understand our impact in our various funding strategies. 

Grantee and Applicant Perception Reports: The Foundation will work with the Center for Effective Philanthropy to survey recent grantees and applicants to identify what is currently working well and what can be improved in areas ranging from the Foundation’s operational processes to our communications.

For additional information on our Learning and Assessment Framework and Program Learning, please contact Joyce Ybarra, Director of Learning, at jybarra@weingartfnd.org.