Nexus’ evaluation system is designed to capture our impact as an intermediary and to assess our value-add to our grantees, our funders and other stakeholders. Through 1 on 1 conversation, surveys and other evaluation tools, we look for impact on 4 levels:
• Individuals (leaders within organizations) will have increased social capital; new knowledge and skills; and increased awareness and understanding of where their organization fits within a larger network of organizations.
• Organizations will strengthen their internal operations and management; create new or strengthen strategic partnerships; improve program delivery and impact; and be able to attract additional funds.
• Communities will see increased economic opportunities; an increase in overall funding going to the neighborhood; and expansion of the collective impact of local organizations.
• Funders will have an increased understanding of what they are funding at the local level; deeper impact due to aligned resources with other funders; and increased effectiveness at the local level.
According to our most recent data drawn from grantees, partners, and program alumni:
of individuals increased their knowledge, skills and professional networks
of grantees reported they made an enduring contribution to their organization
Nexus leveraged nearly
in financial resources for grantees
of organizations institutionalized or expanded an innovative program
of grantees increased connections among local organizations
saw a stronger shared vision among local organizations in their community
According to a partner,
“You can talk about products all day but it’s the people that drive the work. The people at Nexus are connectors, they understand real life constraints, and are unabashed about driving progress.”
HOW Nexus does its work is equally important.
According to our latest surveys with partners and grantees:
Believe Nexus has built a strengths based relationship with their organization.
Believe Nexus does all of its work within an equity framework and works effectively with people of different cultures and social-economic backgrounds.
Say Nexus has real conversations with them about what is working, what isnâ€™t, and how to do it better next time.
Said Nexus is playing a role with funders that they value and 100% value the role we play in communities.
According to a grantee,
“It is rare to be in a funding and working relationship that feels truly collaborative. Usually the funding dynamic changes the relationship, but that is not the case with Nexus.”
Nexus is helping to shift systems.
As an intermediary, Nexus brings multiple stakeholders together to build working relationships, amplify resources, and find common areas of work that lead to a greater impact than any one entity could have alone. One of Nexus’ stakeholders is government and institutions. Nexus works with governments and institutions, helping them better understand and incorporate equity into their institutions, building bridges to communities, and creating spaces for difficult but critical conversations to be had.
Here is a sampling of our impact:
“Nexus served as a close collaborative partner throughout the Partnership for Regional Opportunity work. Through connections made in that work, Nexus has continued to aid the organization with community engagement, equity, and workforce to improve the work we do in the region. I am super impressed with their work. The quality of people they have that lead and work there is just as important as the work that gets done. The people at Nexus are connectors, they understand real life constraints, and are unabashed about driving progress. Nexus helped us figure out how to talk about equity in our organization and in the region and get started working on advancing equity. Nexus has contributed in the sense of comprehensive re-designing of how the organization does community engagement and the commitment to embedding equity work in all areas and explicitly calling it out.”
“Nexus helped open the door to collaboration between our organization and the community. Through our partnership, we’ve learned new models of community engagement and have deepened our knowledge and skills about how to work with community-based organizations. Work between government institutions and communities can be difficult, but Nexus helped guide that process.”
“Nexus is a thoughtful and trusted partner in helping government engage with communities. We have developed an ongoing relationship with them through the Corridors of Opportunity project where Nexus helped us implement new models of community engagement for transit riders. Nexus is helping us advance engagement that encourages dialogue in both directions, towards more equitable outcomes.”
–Metro Transit, Minneapolis
“As a major anchor institution on the East Side of St. Paul, we really value Nexus’ ability to bring us together at tables with key community members and organizations to develop effective relationships. They bring valuable perspectives on community engagement and community development from their national partnerships and experiences rooted in community. Nexus has challenged us to think differently about Community Wealth Building and how we can play a role in generating wealth on the East Side through our procurement processes and creating access to our institution. They’ve helped us understand that this work takes time, and that we have to take a long view to get the kind of transformational change we want to see. The trust and purpose that Nexus shares with us and with communities allows them to act as a bridge between the institutional world and communities.”
–Metropolitan State University, St. Paul
“Nexus partnered with us to develop a learning series for a cohort of our staff focused on community engagement and equity. The team at Nexus has challenged our organization to expand our understanding of community engagement theory and practice through self-reflection and building transformative relationships. They helped staff to consider the role of power, recognize racism, challenge normative policies and practices, and bring change on an individual and organizational level.”
–Children’s Minnesota, Minneapolis and St. Paul