LeadershipRacial Equity

Innovation in action: A new toolkit for evaluation professionals to advance racial equity


We live and work in an environment where the pursuit of racial equity is more pronounced and pressing than ever before. In recent years, we’ve witnessed a pivotal shift within the philanthropic sector that has brought about an unprecedented increase in financial commitments to racial equity. As organizations deepen their investments in dismantling systemic barriers and fostering a more inclusive society, evaluation of these investments has never been more critical. Evaluators stand at the forefront of this endeavor. 

Effective evaluation is an indispensable tool for nonprofit professionals working to achieve racial equity. They help measure the effectiveness of change efforts that impact the lives of children and their families every day. Evaluators are tasked with not only demonstrating the impact of investments but also with the urgent mandate to move the needle toward tangible, lasting change. They provide the foundation for informed decision-making, effective advocacy, efficient resource use and continuous improvement. These activities help ensure that efforts to address racial inequities are grounded in evidence, responsive to community needs, and capable of driving meaningful change.

Doing evaluation in service of racial equity

Amid this evolving landscape, and as part of the ongoing efforts by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to assist evaluators in their implementation of racial equity across their work, we are proud to share a salient resource that rises to meet this moment: the Practice Guide Series on Doing Evaluation in Service of Racial Equity: A Toolkit for Practitioners. This toolkit was developed in partnership with our longtime colleagues at Community Science and builds upon the original series developed in 2021. It offers evaluation practitioners comprehensive guidance and innovative tools to navigate the complexities of evaluating effectively with a racial equity lens. 

The toolkit is presented in three core parts:

Effective evaluation to achieve racial equity is dynamic and multifaceted. To truly contribute to meaningful progress, evaluators must continually rethink their methodologies and approaches, prioritize community collaboration, and infuse racial equity principles into every aspect of their work. By doing so, they can transform evaluation into a powerful catalyst for change, driving us toward a more just and equitable society. 

The toolkit includes insightful blogs, tip sheets, presentations and more that will help evaluators get real about evaluation for racial equity. The development of the toolkit was a thoughtful curation process, enriched by insights gathered from a series of workshops and webinars with evaluators that started in 2021. This collaboration was instrumental in shaping the toolkit, as it brought together diverse perspectives and expertise from across the field. Engaging directly with evaluators through these forums provided a unique opportunity to capture real-world challenges, innovative approaches, and nuanced understandings of how evaluation practices intersect with racial equity goals. 

The importance of this interactive process cannot be overstated; it ensured that the toolkit was not only informed by the cutting-edge of evaluation practice but also deeply rooted in the collective wisdom and informed experiences of those actively working to achieve racial equity through evaluation. This participatory approach fostered a rich exchange of ideas, ensuring the final product was both comprehensive and reflective of the complexities evaluators face in striving to make their work more equitable and impactful.

By adopting this approach, evaluators can ensure their work is reflective of and responsive to the communities most affected by racial inequities and position themselves as key contributors to the broader movement to achieve racial equity.

Empower your impact: Harness the power of our tools 

The journey to achieve racial equity is a collective endeavor that requires the courage to challenge the status quo, the creativity to envision a more equitable world, and the commitment to make it a reality. 

This is not the time to be content with incremental progress. Let’s embrace these tools and resources with the knowledge that our collective efforts can, and will, make a difference.

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo: Building racial equity inside and out

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