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The Learning Conference 2015

June 10–11, 2015

Boston, Mass.

A4. Using Participatory Evaluation to Advance Neighborhood Change

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 11:00 AM–12:15 PM EDT
Dedham (Fourth Floor Level)
Session Designer:

Lois Greco, Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, and Maggie Grieve, Success Measures, NeighborWorks America

Session Description

Do your grantees thank you for the evaluation requirements placed upon them and tell you how useful the experience has been? If not, come learn about peer cohorts, resident-driven neighborhood plans and other participatory learning efforts developed by the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and Success Measures at NeighborWorks America. Through 10 years of refinements, the Neighborhood Grants Program, which prioritizes grantee learning, has helped each place-based grantee tailor and implement a common evaluation plan and more effectively interpret and use data over time. Hear firsthand from a grantee about how this method of evaluation changed its ability to design and refine projects, use data to tell its story and increase transparency among stakeholders. Funders will share how consistent evaluation among cohorts of grantees has enhanced their and the field’s understanding of impact. Participants will leave with an increased understanding of the challenges and benefits of applying a participatory evaluation approach within their own grant portfolios.

Primary Points Of Contact

Lois, Greco

Session Designers

Ms. Maggie Grieve, NeighborWorks America,
Ms. Lois Greco, Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and Community Development Corporation


Ms. Meishka Mitchell, Cooper's Ferry Partnership
Speaker Biography

Drawing on her background as a Camden native, and her education and experience, Meishka brings a keen and unique perspective to her work in community planning and neighborhood revitalization at Cooper’s Ferry Partnership.  Cooper’s Ferry Partnership is a nonprofit community and economic development organization that works to establish public/private partnerships to effect sustainable economic revitalization in Camden, NJ.  Meishka joined the CFP staff as a graduate intern in 2003 and took the helm as the Vice President of Neighborhood Initiatives in 2010. Meishka has played a key role in broadening CFP's mission to address planning and redevelopment efforts in Camden's neighborhoods, overseeing the development of plans and implementation of key neighborhood projects with a high level of community input and participation.  Meishka has a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.  Meishka is certified by the AICPA and maintains a Professional Planners license with the State of New Jersey.

Ms. Maggie Grieve, Sucess Measures, NeighborWorks America
Speaker Biography

Maggie Grieve is Vice President, Success Measures®, operating as a social enterprise at NeighborWorks® America to offer evaluation consulting, technical assistance and technology services to national and community-based nonprofit organizations and funders. She previously served as director of research and evaluation at McAuley Institute, where she co-directed development of Success Measures as an approach to outcome-focused evaluation and managed the development and launch of the Success Measures Data System, a web-based tool for data collection and evaluation support.  Earlier in her career, Grieve was program designer and manager for municipal community development and engagement programs, and consultant providing research, and management services to community-based organizations, national intermediaries, local governments, and foundations to design and implement participatory planning, evaluation, community revitalization, and action research initiatives. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and studied Urban Planning at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Lois Greco, Wells Fargo Regional Foundation & CDC
Speaker Biography

The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation & CDC concentrates its resources on the creation and implementation of comprehensive, resident-driven neighborhood plans.  Since 2001, Lois has managed the Foundation’s portfolio of performance-based grants with an award value of $78 million. Lois joined Wells Fargo & predecessors in 1994 and has served in various training and management roles in the commercial bank. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, she served as Goodwill Industry of Eastern North Carolina’s first Director of Development. She began her career in banking in 1988 at Chemical Bank New York’s Not-For-Profit Group, a specialized commercial banking group.  Lois is on the Finance Committee of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, co-chairs CNJG’s Place Based Funders  Group, is a coach/advisor for a student-directed philanthropy program in a New Jersey elementary school, and serves as a local coordinator of Wells Fargo’s Reading First program.  Lois earned a BA with Highest Honors in economics from Rutgers College.