- Investing in a small number of organizations and initiatives over multiple years. Structuring investments to strengthen organizations and initiatives, and to enhance their ability to provide effective services reliably and sustainably at high levels of quality.
- Tracking performance and providing capacity building/technical assistance supports, empowering these organizations and initiatives to succeed in supporting the children they serve and achieve selected outcomes.
- Partnering deeply and transparently, with humility and a learning and growth mindset, while supporting our investees to stay focused on achieving their respective missions.
- Working with investees to build reliable revenue streams that will support them sustainably.
In 2018-2023, our social investing approach includes:
Structure of Investments
We recognize that all organizations are at varying stages in their life cycle, including at varying capacities to create the conditions for SEL implementation and achieve SEL-related outcomes within their organizations. Thus, the Foundation first works with investees to set and implement SMART goals toward strengthening their organizational capacity so that they are, in turn, better able to implement successful SEL approaches or program(s) that lead to improved child outcomes. Please see the Organizational Capacity Building Domains section below which outlines the domains for which the Foundation provides targeted capacity building support. Throughout the three-to-five-year partnership, the Foundation works with investees to monitor progress toward organizational and child outcomes against mutually established goals.
The Tauck Family Foundation will make the following investments in each investee during each year of the three-to-five-year partnership:
- $25,000 to $150,000/year in general operating support (determined on a case-by-case and year-by-year basis, based on organizational budget, size, and funding needs).
- $10,000 to $100,000/year in targeted capacity building support in the areas of Strategic Leadership and Planning; Outcomes-Focused Management; Performance Management; and Program Quality, Fidelity, and Effectiveness, based on mutually agreed upon capacity building goals and organization/initiative’s ability to absorb and/or carry out capacity building efforts.
The Foundation provides opportunities for investee organizations/initiatives to:
- Collaborate with leading and well-respected experts to strengthen organizational and SEL-related outcomes.
- Learn from and share best practices with peer Tauck Family Foundation investees and other organizations carrying out similar work.
Organizational Capacity Building Domains
The Foundation provides targeted capacity building support to its investees to strengthen the organization/initiative and achieve intended outcomes so that they are then better able to implement successful SEL approaches or program(s) that lead to improved child outcomes. The Foundation invests in four organizational capacity building domains:
- Strategic Leadership and Planning: developing outstanding organizational leaders (executive and Board) to stay focused on the core mission, maintain management practices that promote quality, drive program effectiveness, hold staff and managers accountable for results, and ensure financial health and sustainability. The Foundation supports its investees to develop or re-invest in strong missions with clear target populations, operational theories of change, and executable goals.
- Outcomes-Focused Management: supporting organizations to develop and maintain clear performance standards, and agreed-upon outcome measurements, that they monitor and use to understand and improve staff performance. The Foundation supports organizations to develop sufficient depth so that managers have the appropriate scope and scale of authority to ensure that front line staff deliver services at high levels of performance.
- Performance Management: supporting organizations to monitor and utilize data in managing their performance for continuous improvement purposes, so that they can drive towards better outcomes for the children and other stakeholders they serve. This means developing systems for both day-to-day and strategic data collection, interpretation, and use.
- Program Quality, Fidelity, and Effectiveness: ensuring that each organization has a strategic, structured programming approach, a culture that values learning, clear implementation and performance standards, systematic methods to measure implementation and performance standards, a responsive approach to progress monitoring, and can be relied on to deliver services at high levels of quality and fidelity. We work with organizations to align core programming around elements that research has shown are effective in children’s achievement of social and emotional outcomes.
We define ourselves as social investors and are interested in creating the highest return for the investments we make. Given this focus, the Tauck Family Foundation reviews each proposal with the following overarching questions in mind:
1 How is success defined? What are the expected results from this proposed investment and how will results be measured for all stakeholders served? Results are outcomes achieved as a direct result of the capacity building efforts implemented by the organization or initiative.
2 How likely is it that the results can be achieved? Our focus is on factors such as past success of the organization or initiative and its programs, developmental-appropriateness and validity of key program approaches, a demonstrable commitment to the social and emotional wellbeing and academic success of students, and strong organizational leadership.
3 Is the organization or initiative committed to working toward the Seven Pillars of High Performance from the Leap Ambassadors’ Performance Imperative? High performance is the ability to deliver – over a prolonged period – meaningful, measurable, and financially sustainable results for the people or causes the organization or initiative is in existence to serve.
Social Investing Values
In determining our investments, the Tauck Family Foundation also seeks to work with investees who are aligned with our social investing values. Specifically, they:
- Recognize the importance of SEL to students’ long-term wellbeing and academic success, including the five skills the Foundation has identified as critical.
- Have (or seek to develop) a robust, assets-based strategy for meaningful family engagement and partnership, including: building personal relationships with families; keeping families well-informed about their children’s progress; modeling high quality learning practices; learning from families about their children’s interests and challenges; and being culturally responsive.
- Value and strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of their work.
- Ensure that leadership, staff, and activities are culturally responsive, and affirm students’ diverse cultures, background, and experiences.
- Recognize the importance of and foster positive, nurturing, and trusting student-student/child-child, adult-student/adult-child, and adult-adult relationships, sense of belonging, and learning environments.
- Create (or seek to create) assets-oriented learning environments in which children and adults who work with them feel socially accepted, emotionally safe, and generally supported.
- Support adult social and emotional wellbeing, including teachers, administrators, and parents/caregivers.
- Provide (or seek to provide) opportunities for teachers, children, and families to voice and influence systemic changes in the conditions beyond their control that are affecting the social and emotional health of their school communities.
- Have (or seek to have) in place a whole child approach, focusing on the strengths of the Bridgeport community (students, families, educators, local leaders, etc.).
- Recognize the importance of involving the entire community to provide comprehensive support that is based on students’ unique strengths, needs, and contexts.
- Are open to change and improvement, have a growth mindset about all endeavors, and use and value data for continuous improvement and performance management purposes.
- Are willing to work in collaborative partnership with the Foundation toward shared goals.