by Nick Randell, Program Officer
Meteor Crater National Landmark | Windslow, Arizona
[This second (and
final) installment takes a look at recent Tower grants and their impact on the
target population, grantee organization, and the field at large.]
Once again, we wanted to take a look at the somewhat broader
impact of our grantmaking. On our
lessons learned forms we also scored grants for impact (whether "significant,"
"some," or "no impact"). We looked at
three kinds of impact: 1) impact on target population (was a clinic able to see
more young patients in a given month?); 2) impact on organizational capacity
(did an agency create new in-house trainers?); 3) impact on the field (did the
work help convince a state agency to expand reimbursements to a new service
delivery model?). It is worth noting
that we expected impact on the field to be fairly modest, simply because most
of the grants we looked at did not have field-level objectives.
Here are three pie charts showing what we found for the 22 grants
we looked at.
We tried to capture some key features of
projects that demonstrated "significant" impact on the target population. Here are some things that were true of grants
with target population impact rated "significant."
- Reach was broad, 30 child care centers
engaged for example.
- Expanded capacity to deliver service (respite
slots, more mental health and substance use screenings conducted, greater
availability of proven interventions, expanding access to clinical tools for
- Culture change around trauma, including
trauma-informed residential facilities and child-parent strategies for
- Expanded arts-based programming.
- Prevention messages that customized to the
audience and reflect community realities.
- Improved customer experience (e.g., reduced
Grants that demonstrated significant impact
on organizational capacity were characterized by:
- Comprehensive - not superficial training -
that is accompanied by coaching, technical support, and refresher training.
- Management commitment to the long-term
staffing needs of system change.
- Increased access to expressive arts-based
- Development of trauma-informed culture.
- Improvements to the client experience
(reduced wait times, care coordinators)
- Improved capacity to screen for substance use
problems, deliver brief interventions.
We expect the field-level impact of our Core Programs and
Services grants to be fairly modest, simply because they tend not to have
field-level objectives up front. Nonetheless, about 60% had at least some
potential impact on the field.
Here are a few factors that seem to contribute to field level
- Building the capacity for primary care providers to conduct
behavioral health screenings signals continuing momentum for move towards more
- Work adds to body of evidence for effectiveness of a particular
- Adoption of new models by large regional provider can influence
other providers, payer systems.
- Work with national agency improved a behavioral health
curriculum for use in schools, supporting dissemination in 28 states.
- Grant supported testing of new models (community college
vocational track, primary and behavioral health care integration) with
potential for wider adoption.
- Work created the only certified US trainer for a curriculum that
teaches communication and socialization skills to young people with autism.
- Art program included inclusive musical theater production, offering
a robust model for a rarely used approach.
Documentary about the production is forthcoming.
Photo by Harmony
Creative Commons 2.0