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Building the Capacity of Community Foundations to Use Data

This project supports California community foundations to use data strategically and effectively to address barriers facing low-income students in pursuing and completing postsecondary education. Through College Futures Foundation’s Community Philanthropy for Student Success Initiative, the Gardner Center couples research and capacity building, working in partnership with multiple community foundations who are engaged in improving equitable college attainment.

Supporting Scholarship Recipients to Conduct Research in Kern County

In the summer of 2020, Kern Community Foundation (KCF) and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities partnered to support 6 KCF scholarship recipients in a 10-week Action Research Fellowship. The Fellows developed a set of research questions that addressed KCF’s interests as well as their own. They developed an interview protocol and conducted 36 interviews with other KCF scholarship recipients. Based on these interviews, the Fellows undertook a process to synthesize the main points and develop findings and recommendations. Learn more about the John W. Gardner Action Research Fellowship via the link below. Information about the 2020 Action Research Fellows, as well as their findings and recommendations, are included in the appendix.

Supporting Promising Practices for Young Men of Color to Succeed in College

In 2017 the California Community Foundation (CCF) launched a targeted two-year, $2 million initiative to support promising practices to better help young men of color access college preparation services and succeed once enrolled in a postsecondary institution. This work was envisioned as a learning process, fueled through the funding of direct service projects designed and implemented by community partners. To advance collective learning and collaboration, funded partners were expected to contribute to a cohort-based learning community, through which they would share knowledge and a growing collective understanding of program strategies and outcomes. This initiative was led by the Los Angeles Scholars Investment Fund at California Community Foundation and funded in partnership with the College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, and Angell Foundation.

The report below includes a summary of activities, early learnings, and reflections from this multi-year initiative. It was compiled by the Fellowship Planning Team, led by the California Community Foundation with support from the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities and Youth Mentoring Action Network.