New Report: KIDS COUNT Shows Value of Long-Term Philanthropic Investment

Posted March 18, 2016
Blog from project to platform 2016

For more than 25 years, KIDS COUNT has been the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s flag­ship invest­ment for pro­vid­ing pub­lic offi­cials and child advo­cates with data, tools and pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions to improve out­comes for vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren. This invest­ment has been sub­stan­tial — more than $128 mil­lion to date — but so, too, have been the returns. In 2014 alone, the net­work of KIDS COUNT grantees achieved pol­i­cy wins in 33 states, result­ing in $8.3 bil­lion in new or defend­ed pol­i­cy invest­ments that will ben­e­fit an esti­mat­ed 20.6 mil­lion chil­dren and more than 11 mil­lion families.

A new report, From Project to Plat­form: The Evo­lu­tion of KIDS COUNT, tells the sto­ry of the trans­for­ma­tion of a sin­gle data book doc­u­ment­ing mea­sures of child well-being into a mis­sion-crit­i­cal vehi­cle for build­ing bipar­ti­san sup­port for proven solu­tions and pol­i­cy change. Today, KIDS COUNT includes:

  • a net­work of inde­pen­dent advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tions in every state, the Dis­trict of Colum­bia, Puer­to Rico and the U.S. Vir­gin Islands;
  • a con­tin­u­ous stream of data and research prod­ucts on the well-being of chil­dren; and
  • a coor­di­nat­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions and capac­i­ty-build­ing strat­e­gy ensur­ing that this infor­ma­tion is heard.

From Project to Plat­form also includes insights that the Foun­da­tion has gained from its long-term invest­ment in a vehi­cle for shap­ing and ampli­fy­ing pol­i­cy on a broad scale. Among these lessons learned:

  • Stay the course: Patient invest­ing for the long-term can pay off
  • Build a broad pres­ence: A foot­print that cov­ers every state can cre­ate potent lever­age for pol­i­cy and prac­tice change
  • Con­tin­u­ous­ly strength­en the capac­i­ty of your network’s lead­ers while learn­ing from them
  • Don’t be afraid to expand the brand and diver­si­fy your offer­ings, even as you pro­tect your gains

KIDS COUNT is a crit­i­cal mech­a­nism that not only advances all of the work of our Foun­da­tion, but also serves as a resource for oth­er advo­cates, orga­ni­za­tions and pol­i­cy­mak­ers work­ing on behalf of chil­dren,” says Lisa Hamil­ton, who man­ages the ini­tia­tive in her role as vice pres­i­dent of exter­nal affairs at Casey. The net­work informs, ampli­fies and mea­sures the pow­er of our pro­gram­mat­ic ideas. And if you can’t get the ideas out there, you can’t do as much good in the world.”

Read From Project to Platform

This post is related to:

Popular Posts

View all blog posts   |   Browse Topics

Youth with curly hair in pink shirt

blog   |   June 3, 2021

Defining LGBTQ Terms and Concepts

A mother and her child are standing outdoors, each with one arm wrapped around the other. They are looking at each other and smiling. The child has a basketball in hand.

blog   |   August 1, 2022

Child Well-Being in Single-Parent Families