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Funders Forum

Annie E. Casey Foundation

June 2012

Annie E. Casey Foundation The mission of the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation is to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children. Patrick McCarthy, the foundation's president and CEO, serves on the Foundation Center's board of trustees and has long championed the collection and dissemination of data as an essential tool for policymakers and nonprofits working for positive change. The Center asked him:

Question In what way has the availability of good data had a direct positive impact on an issue of particular importance to your foundation?

Answer From our earliest beginnings, the Annie E. Casey Foundation's strategies and initiatives have been driven by data and evidence. We routinely begin our work by analyzing existing data and engaging stakeholders, bringing together experts to ensure our work is informed by the best available knowledge and research. We invest in the development and spread of evidence-based programs and practices with the best odds of helping children and families to be successful. Working collaboratively with various networks of partners, our strategy is to bring the best solutions to a large enough scale to improve opportunity and outcomes for entire populations of children and families. For nearly two decades, we have supported leadership development efforts that ensure individuals have the competencies, tools, and resources they need to produce results — backed by data — within public agencies and other nonprofit organizations.

Last year, we released the 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book with a special focus on the recession's economic impact on the well-being of children and families at the lower half of the income spectrum. The report received unprecedented media coverage and, more importantly, opened a national dialogue on how we can rebuild pathways to opportunity.

Together with our grantees and other partners, we've used data to drive significant reforms in juvenile justice systems, such as a 45 percent average reduction in the number of children in locked detention facilities in the jurisdictions participating in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. Our Leadership in Action program pulls together multi-disciplinary, multi-system partnerships around a common results target, using agreed-upon indicators to hold the partnership accountable for reaching the target. Our Child Welfare Strategy Group provides intensive consulting to large public systems, beginning with a comprehensive review of available data to focus reform efforts, such as reducing reliance on institutional care. Typical results include a 20 to 50 percent reduction in the number of children in group settings as children are transitioned to family-based care. And in our community change and economic opportunity work, we commission analyses of trends in the labor market, take-up of federal and state benefit programs for low-income families, and opportunities to build pathways to economic success.

In all of our work, we track progress using Results-Based Accountability, a process developed by Mark Friedman. We require grantees and our own initiatives to provide measures of "how much" we do, "how well" we do it, and, most important, "what difference has it made?" In other words, how many children and families are better off, and in what ways? Our ambition is broad and far-reaching: We seek to change the life course of large populations of children and their families, across entire neighborhoods, cities and states, and for the nation as a whole.

Funder's Forum: Donor Profiles

The Heckscher Foundation for Children
December 2014

The Cooper Foundation
November 2014

The National Grid Foundation
October 2014

The Endeavor Foundation
September 2014

The Commonwealth Fund
August 2014

Teagle Foundation
July 2014

Robert R. McCormick Foundation
June 2014

Bush Foundation
May 2014

The Kresge Foundation
April 2014

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
March 2014

Rauch Foundation
February 2014

Stavros Niarchos Foundation
January 2014

The Louis Calder Foundation
December 2013

The Bella Vista Foundation
November 2013

The Skillman Foundation
October 2013

Rosenberg Foundation
September 2013

The Pittsburgh Foundation
August 2013

Saint Luke's Foundation
July 2013

The Sobrato Family Foundation
June 2013

W.K. Kellogg Foundation
March 2013

Trustees' Philanthropy Fund, Fidelity Charitable
February 2013

The Duke Endowment
January 2013

The Beazley Foundation
October 2012

The Colcom Foundation
September 2012

The Clark Foundation
August 2012

The Hyde and Watson Foundation
July 2012

Annie E. Casey Foundation
June 2012

Robert W. Woodruff Foundation
May 2012

Markle Foundation
March 2012

The Commonwealth Fund
February 2012

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund
January 2012

Posner-Wallace Foundation
December 2011

Public Welfare Foundation
November 2011

Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
October 2011

Walter & Elise Haas Fund
September 2011

Alcoa Foundation
August 2011

Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
July 2011

The Cleveland Foundation
June 2011

Fannie E. Rippel Foundation
May 2011

The California Wellness Foundation
April 2011

Jerome Foundation
March 2011

Lumina Foundation
for Education

February 2011

Charles Stewart
Mott Foundation

January 2011

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
December 2010

M. J. Murdock
Charitable Trust

December 2010

Surdna Foundation
October 2010

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