Data Drives Us

It’s about selecting the most promising poverty-fighting organizations in the Bay Area—and then supporting them as they become even better. That takes data, and the metrics to make it actionable.

We require a commitment to improvement.

We look for organizations that use information to understand the people they serve and the effect they have. We tailor our approach to fit every grantee’s model and culture—because all nonprofits differ in their methods for collecting and using data.

We collaborate with grantees to clarify goals and identify measures of success.

We support the development of theories of change, the creation of strategic plans, and the implementation of new measurement systems.

We do it through targeted investments, our own time, and the connections between grantees and our partners.

We track outcomes

Outcomes are everything. That’s why we ask grantees to track changes in the lives of their clients—with measures both particular to their programs and common to their field. We compare these figures to industry standards and to other major organizations in the area. Here are a few examples of data that matters:

Education + Youth
  • Percent of students reading at grade level

  • Average annual wages at job placements

  • Percent of families in safe housing up to a year beyond move-in

  • Performance on clinical measures like immunization rates and prenatal care

We assess how each program benefits those in need.

Fighting poverty means increasing the incomes of people in need. With access to excellent education, jobs, housing and care, low-income families and individuals gain the tools and opportunities required to earn more money over the long-term. We trace the path of our investments—through the hardworking organizations in our portfolio—to real change in the lives of clients. While some individuals see immediate income gains after completing job training programs for example, the gains for others come further in the future. In the case of middle school students at high-performing charter schools, we make projections about future income increases and account for what would likely happen in the absence of that particular school. We estimate a benefit-cost figure for each grantee by calculating how much more take-home pay a typical client will amass over his or her lifetime for every Tipping Point dollar donated.