As part of their effort to more significantly focus on racial equity and justice, JRE partnered with the Kaleidoscope Project, one of its funded initiatives, to explore a more equitable model of community-driven philanthropy. JRE wanted to learn first-hand what is needed to move decision-making power away from the endowment and its grantees and into a community. With the directive to “turn philanthropy on its head,” the Kaleidoscope Project assembled a Working Group and initiated a pilot project with JRE funding in 2021 at Beacon Ridge, DHIC’s newest affordable housing site for families. The Kaleidoscope Project recruited Beacon Ridge residents to liase between the working group and the community as they collaborated to make improvements for the children living at Beacon Ridge.
John Rex Endowment
Evaluate, Develop Resources
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.
Strategy and Evaluation at the table
Case study of Beacon Ridge
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.
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.