The Kaleidoscope Project, funded by the John Rex Endowment, ensures that every young child in Wake County will experience nurturing relationships and supportive environments that promote their social and emotional well-being. Partners for Impact has been evaluating this community change initiative and is providing program planning services to the John Rex Endowment as it redefines its grantmaking process with an emphasis on community participation in planning and awarding funding. We are excited to be a part of the current phase of this project that is directly addressing racial equity in philanthropy by shifting the decision making power to the community.
During 2019, Partners for Impact was hired to undertake an evaluation of the project. The evaluation team sought to answer two main questions: Was the Kaleidoscope Project effective in disseminating the best practices in Wake County? What facilitated the adoption of the best practices?
The Partners for Impact team adapted the social ecological model to build a proposed framework for the evaluation of the Kaleidoscope Project. Four key levels of action were observed in the initial examination of the data: the individual, the organization, the system, and the community. Change strategies evident in the first three of these levels will lead to the community change described in the vision of the Kaleidoscope Project: all children in Wake County experience nurturing relationships.
Kaleidoscope Project Final Report
The Kaleidoscope Model of Community Change through Best Practices
Infographic by Partners for Impact Design Consultant Fiona W. Dunn
The Kaleidoscope Project (funded by the John Rex Endowment)
The Kaleidoscope Project, designed to ensure that young children in Wake County experience nurturing relationships and supportive environments that promote their social and emotional well-being, required an evaluation. Partners for Impact was brought into the project to complete an evaluation of the project.
Partners for Impact designed an evaluation process to assess the impact that the Kaleidoscope Project had on the impact of places and spaces where children go. The process included interviews, focus groups, and simple questionnaires/surveys in order to obtain different perspectives for the final report.
The evaluation by Partners for Impact allowed The Kaleidoscope Project to understand their best practices and distribute their findings associated with improving places and spaces where children go. What emerged in the final analysis was an interrelationship between a shifting mindset where childrens’ perceptions were placed at the center, the modifications to spaces, and actual changes in behaviors or interactions between children and their caregivers.
The Kaleidoscope Project is entering a new phase in 2022. For the first time, the John Rex Endowment has made a commitment to fund a project like this for five years. There is a focus on racial inequities and the systems that perpetuate injustice, and activities that disrupt these inequities, such as community-based philanthropy. Over the course of the five years, Partners for Impact continued to be the evaluation consultant.
Kaleidoscope Project Initial Evaluation:
After completion of the initial evaluation for the Kaleidoscope Project, Partners for Impact continued to implement the learning from Kaleidoscope with the John Rex Endowment in their Beacon Ridge pilot program.
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.