Beacon Ridge: A case in Community Based Philanthropy


John Rex Endowment

Services Provided:

Evaluate, Develop Resources

The Problem/Challenge:

Once the original Kaleidoscope Project was completed a new phase was created that focused on community-based philanthropy. This phase identified a community where low-income head of households were the decision makers in funding projects that improved the community spaces to support their children’s social-emotional development. 

Our Process:

Strategy and Evaluation at the table

End Result:

Case study of Beacon Ridge

Continued Success:

We are entering a third phase of the Kaleidoscope Project that will identify 4-5 communities that will continue exploring the model of community-based philanthropy based on the lessons learned from Beacon Ridge. It has received five years of funding from the John Rex Endowment for this project. 

Beacon Ridge Case Study:

The Beacon Ridge Community is an affordable housing project,owned by DHIC, an affordable housing developer in Wake County. The apartments are available to families whose income is at or below 60% of Wake County’s area median income. It is part of a purpose built community created by Southeast Raleigh Promise, with partners from Wake County Public Schools, and the YMCA. One of DHIC’s properties was part of Phase 1 of The Kaleidoscope Project.

Phase 2 of The Kaleidoscope Project was created to pilot a community-based philanthropy project where those who lived in the community identified priorities and made decisions about how philanthropic support was invested in the community. A planning team made up of John Rex Endowment staff, Kaleidoscope Project staff, Beacon Ridge staff, diversity and equity consultants from Counterpart Consulting, and evaluation consultants from Partners for Impact. This team set the stage for how to approach this project. 

The evaluation team from Partners for Impact brought the lessons from Phase 1 of the project to the planning table. Consultants have worked with the planning team to create a culture of reflection that enables the group to capture ongoing lessons. They participated in meetings with community members of Beacon Ridge as facilitators of continuous learning and observers of the community prioritization process. The evaluation team has created interim reports and will complete a full case study of the project in the fall of 2022.