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The Weight of POWER: The Role of Metrics & Evaluation at the Intersection of Social Justice

This report, a collaboration between Echoing Green and CCRE, explores the possibilities of greater equity and progress in social impact by shifting power from philanthropic funders to social innovators and the communities they serve.



Dismantling and shifting power structures is key for achieving social impact. For far too long, funders have had significant control over social impact organizations: what they focus on, how they allocate resources, and how they measure their own success. This undue influence impedes progress and perpetuates inequity.

To bring about effective and lasting change, power must be shifted to those on the front lines — social innovation leaders and the communities they serve.

The Weight of Power: The Role of Metrics & Evaluation at the Intersection of Social Justice examines who has power to define success and who should have power to define success. With insights from 22 interviews and a survey of 409 nonprofit leaders, social innovators, and funders, the report aims to understand the impact metrics used by philanthropy and social innovators, and specifically focuses on the challenges faced by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) leaders.

Funders must work together with social innovators to develop solutions that make a meaningful difference. The report yielded four takeaways to shift power in tangible ways that contribute to greater equity and progress in social impact:

  • Develop transformative relationships with grant partners
  • Reassess traditional measures of success and progress
  • Invest in evaluation innovation
  • Provide flexible, multiyear funding

Download the report

This report is part of Echoing Green’s partnership with Robin Hood’s Power Fund, which invests in outstanding nonprofit leaders of color who bring unique perspectives and expertise to the fight against poverty. The Power Fund aims to address longstanding funding disparities, both in Robin Hood’s grant portfolio and in the philanthropic sector at large, by supporting a diverse cohort of social entrepreneurs and innovators who are at the helm of impactful nonprofit community-based organizations. We hope the research and stories featured in this report motivate all people to support BIPOC social change leaders in new and expansive ways and see a place for themselves as active participants in creating and contributing to a just and equitable world.