The Fund for Shared Insight investment allowed the organization to cross the threshold of 275,000 students served nationwide San Francisco – Today, YouthTruth announced that a grant of $550,000 from the Fund for Shared Insight has allowed the organization to cross the milestone of 275,000 students served nationwide. Students’ opinions are gathered to inform improvement in schools, as well as districts, across the country. YouthTruth joins seven other nonprofit organizations – out of 200 total applicants – as the recipients of the “Practice of Feedback Loops” grant, awarded to organizations that collect and produce relevant information from important stakeholders to enable better philanthropic efforts from foundations.
“At every school there are leaders and teachers who want to support students. Students are the best indicators of whether a school, teacher or even a specific support program is successful,” said YouthTruth’s Director of Partnerships Jen Vorse Wilka. “The more student perspectives we’re able to collect, the more effective our schools can be to meet those needs in our nation’s classrooms.”
Founded in 2008 as a collaboration between the Center for Effective Philanthropy and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, YouthTruth has worked with over 326 schools across the country to use student feedback as guidance for school improvements. Stanford University’s John W. Gardner Center has found that student perceptions to be linked to academic outcomes. Utilizing a sophisticated technology system to analyze student feedback against a large library of aggregate data, YouthTruth consults and informs school leaders to make meaningful decisions on hot-button issues such as school safety, teacher evaluation and classroom engagement. Over the last 90 days alone, YouthTruth has served 22,200 students through the Shared Insight grant.
“In this day and age, feedback is becoming an increasingly important factor in any decisionmaking process. As a collaborative of funders, we try to stay as informed as possible with relevant data to optimize the impacts of our investments. YouthTruth is a leading example of a systematic approach to hearing from the people we seek to help. By giving a voice to the students we want to support, YouthTruth enables a feedback loop that brings about meaningful and sustainable changes in the education system,” said Melinda Tuan, spokesperson for Fund for Shared Insight.
Fund for Shared Insight is a collaborative effort between various funders and foundations that pool financial and other resources to invest in organizations that inform and improve philanthropy. Members include the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, Liquidnet, the Rita Allen Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, these organizations aim to foster more connections between philanthropic foundations and their grantees to inform future work.
Some of this year’s other grantees that joined YouthTruth in getting celebrated for their work in producing meaningful feedback loops and increasing foundation openness include: Habitat for Humanity International, Global Living, Creative Commons, the Center for Effective Philanthropy and Urban Institute With Feeding America.