When the Ruth Mott Foundation developed its strategic plan for north Flint with residents in 2015-16, the decision was made to identify desired outcomes and measures and also to track progress and monitor results.
There were two strategic questions the Foundation had in mind:
These questions prompted the Ruth Mott Foundation board and leadership to explore the development and use of a dashboard to collect data and hold the Foundation and Flint accountable for our collective efforts to, among other goals, build local capacity and long-term, sustainable change.
Through a process that engaged grantees and other stakeholders, the Ruth Mott Foundation North Flint Community Dashboard was created and launched in 2017.
The dashboard is an online tool that aggregates publicly available data for the Foundation’s north Flint focus area, shows progress or lack thereof by various indicators, and generates visual reports as well as comparisons to the city as a whole, Genesee County, and state of Michigan. It shows data by geography and by race, shows changes over time, and provides contextual information.
The Foundation has several objectives for the dashboard, among them: 1) Provide an overview of community-level trend data for north Flint; 2) Increase the ability to evaluate the community’s collective effectiveness; and 3) Provide the community with a mechanism for data-driven decision making in north Flint.
Among other uses, the dashboard will help organizations apply for grant funding, help grantees report on their own progress, and it will help keep the Foundation accountable for the work being done in north Flint. The Foundation met with numerous community groups and sought feedback on the dashboard’s functionality, and respondents listed awareness and neighborhood improvement among the top uses.
The Foundation will also launch a second phase of the dashboard, which will allow the Foundation’s grantee organizations to upload data from their own programs and really examine the difference that they’re making in their specific areas of focus.
To use or explore the Ruth Mott Foundation’s Community Dashboard, visit www.ruthmottfoundation.org/dashboard.