Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. So it is with educational initiatives. Have they remained exactly as planned or have they changed along the way, keeping to the spirit if not the letter of a proposed project or educational endeavor?
The Covenant Foundation’s Grant Impact and Sustainability Report is a description of Covenant Foundation grants from 2000 to 2007 and an analysis of those that have grown, those that were valiant attempts but are no longer active, and the lessons we have gleaned from these results. The work was conducted by Rosov Consulting, LLC and written by Dr. Tobin Belzer. It was edited by Dr. Meredith Woocher. Dr. Woocher introduced the Lead Impact Categories in order to encourage the reader to examine these projects through diverse lenses.
The Grant Impact and Sustainability Report reflects a long-held notion of the Foundation:
Waiting and revisiting educational initiatives to determine if they have thrived is a responsible way to measure investment. The knowledge gained from this type of analysis will be valuable to the field and everyone will have learned from experience.
The grants highlighted in the “Grant Results” section of Sight Line focus on grants found in the Grant Impact and Sustainability Report. Interviews were conducted with former Project Directors to create brief summary documents for each grant, and these documents were then coded into seven “impact categories.” The categories are not mutually exclusive; in fact, most of the grants fall into more than one category. While not every grant achieved the same level of impact or sustainability over time, even those that were smaller in scope or shorter in duration achieved successes that changed the Jewish world for the better.
The impact categories are as follows: