Selection Criteria

Overall, the Tauck Family Foundation seeks to invest in non-profit organizations that have the following qualities:

  1. Committed to the importance of helping Bridgeport’s young people develop social and emotional skills in order to change life outcomes.
  2. Leadership that is relentlessly focused on positive outcomes (including development of social and emotional skills for the children they work with, and willing to employ all the necessary means to achieve these outcomes.
  3. A board that is aligned and invested in this strategic approach.
  4. Leadership that has already designed, or is willing to design, rigorous operational theories of change and high-quality performance management systems that will tie their work to measureable outcomes for children.
  5. Capacity and commitment (at both leadership and managerial levels) to high-quality performance management and ongoing quality improvement.
  6. Visionary, adaptive leaders who not only want to measure their performance and understand the impact of their programs, but who also will use these data to make changes if the organization is not able to show that it is delivering what it promises.
  7. Data-driven culture that believes in the importance of managing performance: leadership, managers, and front-line staff who are aligned around the idea that using data is essential to delivering great outcomes for kids.
  8. Engagement of the children they work with as active partners in the development of social and emotional skills and reaching for better outcomes for themselves. The children in their programs understand the importance of developing these skills for their futures, and the future of their communities.

Selection Criteria

The Tauck Family Foundation used the six selection criteria listed below to help select the investees in our portfolio. The first four selection criteria below are embedded in tools developed by Hunter Consulting that measure the outcomes management capacity of an organization: the Outcomes Management Self Assessment Tool (OMSAT) and the Outcomes Management External Analyst's Tool (OMET; please find more information on our Reports & Tools page.

Foundation staff use the OMET during our due dilligence process, but applying organizations may still be chosen as investees even if they do not score highly on all the performance domains of the tool. We also use these tools to measure and monitor the ongoing organizational capacity of investees, and our targeted capacity building investments are aimed at supporting our investees in continuing to develop these capacities. 

1) Strategic Leadership

  • Clarity of Organizational Purpose: Assessing the specificity and clarity of the organization’s mission regarding its purpose for existing, where it works, its target population(s) and what it expects to accomplish.
  • Consistency in Holding to a Mission-Driven Course: Assessing the organization’s leadership, and track record of keeping the organization focused on the core of its work rather than pursuing wide ranging or unrelated opportunities.

2) Outcomes-Focused Management

  • Accountability for Outcomes: Assessing the performance standards and agreed-upon outcome measurements that the organization monitors and uses to understand and improve staff performance.
  • Budgeting for Performance: Assessing how the organization deploys its resources with a focus on supporting areas that drive client outcomes (e.g., rather than rigidly mimic categorical funding streams).

3) Performance Management Capacities

  • Data Integrity: Assessing how performance data are entered into the performance management system—whether accurately, completely, and on time.
  • Outcomes Focus: Assessing how the organization tracks not only internal processes and outputs such as number of people served, but also what results it achieves.
  • Making Data-Informed Adjustments: Assessing the evidence that the organization has used performance data to make significant changes in its structure, capacities, staff competencies, systems and processes, programs or other features in order to improve results.
  • Relating Staff Activities to Child Outcomes: Assessing the evidence that the organization systematically reviews staff activities and the time spent in delivering them in relationship to the results it is achieving.

4) Program Effectiveness

  • Delivering Programming with Fidelity: Assessing whether the organization’s core programming is codified and has both implementation and performance standards. Also, how the organization monitors its work, making adjustments as indicated, and whether it can be relied on to deliver its services at high levels of quality and in conformance with the design features of the program model.
  • Evidence for Program Impact: Assessing the organization’s programming and how it features elements that research has shown are effective in helping children achieve child development and skills acquisition outcomes.

5) Financial Viability

  • Assessing no less than a three-year trend of financial performance (with special attention given to how well the organization maintained or improved its revenues in relation to managing costs, episodes where financial crises were encountered and how they were resolved, internal controls, and current financial/legal exposure).

6) Organizational Fit

  • Assessing how willing the organization may be to engaging in a very transparent and collaborative relationship with the Tauck Family Foundation.

 

Learn more about:

How to Apply

Eligibility Inquiry

Outcomes Management Self Assessment Tool (OMSAT)