Disrupting Tradition:

How the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Uses a
Learning Mindset to Support Grantees in Measuring Impact

The Kauffman Foundation has built a strong culture of innovation and has embraced a learning mindset that guides their impact measurement and management efforts and allows them to clear the path to greater impact. 

[FINAL] Kaufmann Fdn Spotlight v2 (1)
“COVID was a moment for us to take a hard look at our approach. We said: ‘It’s the right time for us to push ourselves. We know better so now let's do better.'"
- Jessica Mindnich, Senior Director at The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

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Challenges before UpMetrics

  • Lack of alignment across Kauffman and its cohort of grantees.
  • Reducing the reporting burden on grantees.

  • Spreadsheets and data silos created tedious – and sometimes incomplete or error-prone – reporting efforts.
  • Clarity around what kind of data they needed to capture in order to advance their own work.
  • Finding opportunities to streamline the data points grantees were collecting.


After Engaging with UpMetrics

  • Streamlined internal focus from 10 proposed outcomes to three overarching impact goals to track towards.
  • Kauffman and its grantees can store, visualize, interpret, and share data from one centralized location.
  • Empowered grantees to define their own metrics for success and build customized dashboards, which in turn enables them to share more meaningful information and insights with Kauffman in place of traditional reporting.
  • Grantees spend less time reporting and more time learning – and turning key learnings into new ideas that can accelerate impact.

"I don't think it's a good use of our dollars to ask grantees to spend their time on reporting. We want them to spend their time doing what they do well - doing what we're funding them to do!

So we really have to ask big questions and think about how we actually free them up to do their best work. Ultimately, we're pushing ourselves to try new things to really disrupt the system."

- Jessica Mindnich, Senior Director at Kauffman Foundation