This is the summary report of the methodology, findings, and recommendations of the process and outcomes evaluations of the HOPE II (Helping Outreach Programs to Expand) grant program, which provide financial and technical assistance to faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) that provide services to crime victims in urban, high-crime areas.
The process evaluation found that the grant specifications of a 10-month timeline and the modest level of funding ($50,000 to each participating FBCO) put challenging constraints on a program’s building capacity. Due to operational issues at the intermediary organization (the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center) and an inconsistent structure for technical assistance through the use of various consultants (site mentors), the nine subgrantees involved in the process evaluation’s case studies did not consistently receive support during the implementation of HOPE II activities. The reimbursement model for funding disbursement was not consistently executed in a timely fashion, causing several subgrantees to use personal funds temporarily during portions of the grant period. The training and technical assistance provided by the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center (MCVRC) were not effectively structured for subgrantees. Following the initial training by MCVRC, subgrantees were not clear on the expectations for ongoing technical assistance and the nature of their relationship with the site mentor. The outcomes evaluation found that the subgrantees experienced the greatest improvements in capacity with respect to four aspects of organizational development. First, regarding volunteer development and management, the subgrantees hired and sustained volunteer coordinators. Second, regarding sustainable funding, subgrantees reported increased funding competitiveness and increases in revenue. Third, regarding organizational development, the subgrantees implemented electronic recordkeeping. Fourth, regarding service delivery capacity, subgrantees increased the number of services offered and clients served. There were only nominal changes in other capacity areas, including community partnerships.
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For the full reports of the process and outcomes evaluations, see NCJ-224987 and NCJ-224988.