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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
Susan Ford served as the president and cofounder of the Sand Hill Foundation, a family foundation that made grants to organizations that benefited people on the San Francisco Peninsula. The foundation was established by Tom and Susan Ford in 1995, emerging from the Fords’ shared passion for giving and community development. The foundation focused on the environment, education, preservation of open space, youth development, and job training.
The Fords were among the original donors of the Teen Success Program, a support group for teen mothers launched in 1990 by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM). The program encouraged teens not to have a second child and to stay in school, in exchange for $10 per week and $100 for every 25 weeks of attendance. Facilitator-led Teen Success groups of up to 12 teen mothers met weekly. Childcare was provided during meetings, and participants could remain in the groups until they turned 18 or completed high school.
After investing more than $200,000 in the initiative, Susan Ford decided to measure the effectiveness of the Teen Success Program. Her intention was to validate the program’s results and identify its strengths and opportunities in an effort to help it grow further. Yet, even though Ford had developed a positive relationship with Linda Williams, the head of PPMM, she worried that Williams might feel threatened by her proposal for an assessment of the program’s impact. The evaluation process resulted in tensions that caused both Ford and Williams to reflect upon the dynamics of the grantor-grantee relationship, as well as the role of evaluation in their future work.
By 2002, the Teen Success program was operating in over 20 communities in California and Nevada and had served 625 teen mothers. That year, PPMM won the Planned Parenthood Affiliate Excellence Award for services to teens. In mid-2002, PPMM was seeking funding for another comprehensive evaluation of the Teen Success Program so that other Planned Parenthood chapters could potentially replicate the initiative.
Looking forward, Williams, Ford, and others involved in the Teen Success Program hoped to capitalize on their learning to more constructively engage all stakeholders in the evaluation process, effectively monitor the program’s impact, and take action on evaluation results.
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Case No: SI56