Peer Performance Exchange

The Funders’ Role in Building a Community of Impact

Now more than ever, funders striving to maximize the impact of their grant money must invest strategically in their grantees’ programs.

The Peer Performance Exchange highlights the strengths and opportunities for improvement of multiple grantees in targeted social issues, with the goal of improving performance and building capacity individually and sector-wide. These performance insights are derived from the Research and Assessment Team’s rigorous analyses of funder’s grantee cohorts and are based on benchmarking against leading standards and best practices in the field.

Funders have the opportunity of underwriting—partially or completely—their grantees’ participation in the Peer Performance Exchange. The Exchange is a community of nonprofits who work in the same social issue sector and are dedicated to improving their effectiveness through learning about their strengths and opportunities for improvement, linking with like-minded peers, and leveraging the findings from the analyses. Membership in the Exchange is two and a half years. During the first six months, our analysts aggregate members’ program data and conduct analysis and benchmarking. For the following two years, our members learn from the analysis, leverage resources, and link with other members to accelerate and communicate improved performance.

Your grantees’ membership in the Exchange includes:

Independent Program Analysis Report

The Independent Program Analysis Report is a comprehensive report that details the assessment performed by a team of SIR analysts. Based on a proprietary methodology, analysts use more than 100 leading standards to assess and benchmark nonprofits. These standards are developed through a comprehensive literature review and consultations with social issue experts, and fall into three main categories: program performance, organizational health, and field advancement. To view an example report, click here. For more information about the methodology, click here.

The confidential report helps identify strengths, gaps in service, and opportunities for stronger performance, while providing actionable information for short- and long-term change.

Transparency Report

The Transparency Report is a short report that distills its most pertinent findings from the analysis into a compelling narrative that can be used to attract support. Maritime Apprentice Program, a program of the Hull Lifesaving Museum, chose to receive this report. To view a copy of it, please click here. These reports can be used on a variety of donor platforms to increase visibility.

Resource Hub

The Resource Hub is a collection of web-based resources—including case studies, recent research, and capacity-building tools—to help nonprofits implement the best practices outlined in their Independent Program Analysis Reports.

Profile Raising

A host of marketing tactics will be employed to raise the profile of members and set them apart as leaders in the field. Profile raising includes: blogging, social media, advertising and participation in industry events. The Research and Assessments analysts also regularly meets with key funders to raise awareness about the Exchange and its participants.

“We feel strongly that this report will be a valuable and useful tool to us as we move forward in identifying program needs, strategic planning, and fundraising.” Bryan Van Dorpe, Executive Director, Youth Enrichment Services

GrantMaking Tool

Funders who underwrite their grantees’ participation in the Peer Performance Exchange have the option of purchasing the GrantMaking Tool, a distillation of the most important findings from the analysis for its portfolio of grantees in a specific social issue area. The tool highlights the gaps where targeted funding to an individual nonprofit or a cohort of organizations could have a profound impact.

Funders also have the option of in-person meetings with Research and Assessments analysts who can expand on the insights of the GrantMaking Tool.

“This added level of detail and insight into our grantees’ performance by an independent third party has been incredibly powerful, and Root Cause has become a valuable partner to us in this work.” Sheila Cody Peterson, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, State Street Corporation

Take Action Now

To learn more about the Exchange and fees, please contact Colette Stanzler at or 617.649.1538.

Membership Deadline for Your Grantees

For your grantees to be guaranteed a spot in the next Exchange, they must sign up by July 15, 2014. 

Other Social Issues

For funders interested in an analysis of a portfolio of grantees working on a targeted social issue, please contact us. Click here to learn more about our social issue reports.