A 2010 study of return-on-investment of investments in community organizing, found that for every $1 invested in L.A. community organizing, Los Angeles saw $91 in benefits. Nine of the 15 organizations assessed in the study received their first foundation funding from Liberty Hill. Read this exciting analysis verifying the impact of investments in community organizing. Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities: Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing and Civic Engagement in Los Angeles County, was published by the National Center for Responsive Philanthropy.
Liberty Hill is widely known for its use of community advisors to help us make our grant decisions. These advisors, known as Community Funding Boards, keep Liberty Hill’s knowledge of communities close to the ground, allowing us to identify strong leaders who often are not receiving foundation support. (Review the list of Community Funding Board members or watch the video about our Community Funding Board "braintrust.") Our grant evaluations are also informed by site visits, final reports (if the organization is a prior grantee), and the expertise of our program officers. Liberty Hill has more than 30 years of experience observing social justice grantee organizations.
Every grant contract includes goals and expectations. Oftentimes additional resources are provided to grantees to help them succeed. If programs fall below expectations, our concerns are discussed with grant recipients. If performance does not improve, funding will be reduced or ended.
Our Wally Marks Leadership Institute training programs are carefully monitored with pre- and post-tests to measure the degree to which skills are implemented within organizations and whether the organizations are strengthened as a result. We use this information to make improvements to our training programs. Read the independent evaluator's report of the Wally Marks Leadership Institute training.
Liberty Hill's community-centered approach to grantmaking using community advisors is described in the book, Change Philanthropy by Alicia Korten (Jossey-Bass, 2009).
Ford Foundation assessed its investments in community organizing including Liberty Hill. (2004)
Liberty Hill documented our own lessons and insights in building this report about support for social justice philanthropy.