A Foundation-to-Foundation Partnership: Lessons from a Unique Pairing of Funders

This paper reveals findings from a process evaluation of the partnership between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) vis-à-vis its Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN) grantmaking program (initiated in 2005). A candid look at this partnership reveals successes and challenges, as well as what worked and what took time to work. Moreover, this paper reveals the hard work required to make this partnership evolve to create a program that has had a significant, positive impact on the field of nursing.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant 









A Guide for Training Public Dialogue Facilitators

This is a step-by-step guide for training youth and adults as small-group dialogue facilitators in a dialogue and community change effort.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Online Publication, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team, Resources









A Road Made by Walking: Participatory Evaluation and Social Change

This article describes how participatory evaluation was used in a Ford Foundation–funded project to promote mixed-income housing in Atlanta. The project resulted in an increase in mixed income housing, but also in social outcomes such as increased knowledge about housing issues. Validity and reliability of the findings are demonstrated through feedback from the community members, rather than through statistical methods.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Issue-Specific Grants, Program Learning and Evaluation









A Time of Need: Nonprofits Report Poor Communication and Little Help from Foundations During the Economic Downturn

CEP began asking grantees about their funders’ communications and helpfulness in response to the downturn in the last half of 2009. This report analyzes data gathered from surveys of over 6,000 grantees of 37 foundations.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Communications , Mission and Values









Advanced Mini-Intensive in Grantmaking

This course includes an in-depth analysis of evaluation models; proposal assessments; funder-grantee relationships and models, especially as they apply to particular funding areas and values-based grantmaking; changes in the philanthropy law and environment; and participant-presented case studies. Course content is updated based upon recommendations of the larger philanthropy field and past participants. The course is coordinated by Richard Marker, an internationally known thought leader in the grantmaking and philanthropy field. He is joined in class by several highly respected and prominent philanthropy experts. CEU: 4

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , General Grants , Grantmaking, In-Person Workshop, Issue-Specific Grants, New Grants Management, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Program Learning and Evaluation









Alliance Breakfast Club- Markets for good: removing the barriers

Why are so few market-based solutions to poverty getting to scale? What can be done so that they can deliver meaningful benefits to the poor? These are the questions raised by the recently released Monitor Inclusive Markets report Beyond the Pioneer. Its findings are in turn examined by the June 2014 Alliance special feature.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Assessing the How of Grantmaking

As grantmakers, most of us pay attention to what we fund—grantmaking strategy and impact—and who we fund—the grantees we support. But what about how we fund? Practices matter. Your grantmaking practices are one of the most public—and sometimes one of the only—expressions of your organizational values that grantseekers experience. How do you want the world to see you?

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , General Grants , Making and Managing Grants









Best Practices Study: Children, Youth and Family Philanthropy

This report highlights the considered experiences and views of leading children, youth and family grantmakers across the U.S. concerning key insights they have gleaned about practices that either advance or impede diversity in areas ranging from governance and staffing to grantmaking and contracting. The presentation includes a summary of key findings concerning various practical aspects of promoting and managing diversity that readers should find especially valuable.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Governance , Human Resources , New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion









Beyond the NPR Crowd: How Evaluation Influenced Grantmaking at the California Council for the Humanities

This article describes an initiative designed to engage a broad cross section of Californians in the humanities. Initial findings from book reading groups were that participants were predominantly white, middle-aged women. Changing the type of programming to include poetry slams, photography, digital media, and writing programs broadened participation of various ages and ethnic groups. The location of the program also made a difference, with schools and community-based organizations drawing more diverse audiences than libraries.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Program Learning and Evaluation









Beyond the pioneer: transcending competition

The recently released Monitor Deloitte report Beyond the Pioneer examines why so few market-based solutions to poverty are getting to scale and what can be done so that they can deliver meaningful benefits to the poor. Based on research spanning Asia and Africa, the report’s main finding is that many of the barriers to scale cannot or will not be addressed effectively by any individual firm. What is needed is external support in the form of market facilitators that can remove these barriers at an ecosystem level.Our own experience at Artha Networks Inc (ANI) over the last ten years, helping to build Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Building Collaboration From the Inside Out

This publication is focused on building an organization’s collaboration muscles. It offers guidance on steps grantmakers and nonprofits can take to adopt a “collaborative mindset” and align values and practice so they can be better partners in collaboration. It is based on research and interviews with grantmakers, nonprofit leaders, technical assistance providers and thought leaders from 2013 through 2015.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Making and Managing Grants, Program Learning and Evaluation, Strategy and Evaluation









Building Financial Strength & Program Quality: A case on grant making to strengthen organizations in a field

Work alongside a grantmaker who created a new program to strengthen community foundations – building both their financial wealth and the effectiveness of their programs. What choices would you have made? Highlights: Choosing a strategy; Shaping a new program initiative; Using an RFP to advace your goals.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking









Building the Capacity of Networks to Achieve Systems Change

Networks have historically played an essential role in promoting progress in areas such as social justice, political reform, environmental protection, and public health. Foundations are increasingly recognizing the power of networks and looking for strategies to help networks achieve their potential. The most common strategies are: a) convene a new network around a mission in line with the foundation’s interests, or b) make grants to an existing network whose interests align with the foundation’s. Each strategy has practical limitations. This paper analyzes an alternative strategy developed by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (MRBF). In addition to providing networks with grants, Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Business Planning for Nonprofits: What It Is and Why It Matters

The business-planning process offers a nonprofit’s decision makers a rare opportunity to step back and look at their organization as a whole. It is a time to connect the dots between mission and programs, to specify the resources that will be required to deliver those programs, and to establish performance measures that allow everyone to understand whether the desired results are being achieved.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Can You Open-Source Your Strategy?

Strategy development has traditionally been the domain of the C-suite, employing structured tools for analysis and tightly managed decision making. The Wikimedia Foundation (the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia) took a different approach by open-sourcing its strategy formulation, drawing on the community of Wikimedians around the world. The process took place in public, on a strategy wiki that anyone could contribute to.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Case for Change Capital in the Arts

Explore a series of written and video materials on the need for capital in the arts. This series conveys stories and lessons learned from NFF’s $15 million Leading for the Future Initiative, the first national Initiative to deploy a specific kind of investment – change capital – to help arts organizations adapt their programming, operations and finances to thrive in a changed and changing economic and cultural landscape. Ten artistically excellent performing arts nonprofits are working with NFF over five years to develop and implement plans for achieving this transformation. Nearly three years into this exciting Initiative, we now have Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking, Issue-Specific Grants









Case Study: Central Minnesota Community Foundation: Creating a Community Leadership Compass

Creating a Community Leadership Compass is a case study that describes the Central Minnesota Community Foundation’s transformative path into community leadership work. It looks at how the board and staff worked together to create a vision and framework for community leadership and at early community leadership efforts. It also includes criteria developed by the foundation for embarking on community leadership projects.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Case Study: Greater Milwaukee Foundation: Built for Leadership

Embedded in this case study are three Cool Tools that community foundations can access via the click of a mouse: Milwaukee’s “Good to Great” strategic plan Criteria for selecting leadership projects Metrics used to assess the Foundation’s leadership efforts Read the case study to learn more about: Building a board for leadership Operating from a values base Aligning staff Engaging donors and other co-investors Funding community leadership Increasing impact

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Governance , Grantmaking, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team









CFLeads White Paper: Community Foundations and Community Leadership

This white paper explores the imperatives – both market and moral – for a community foundation to embrace community leadership.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Governance , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Changemaking: Building Strategic Competence

This article examines The Skillman Foundation’s efforts to add value to its work through “changemaking,” which encompasses roles and practices beyond grantmaking through which a foundation advances its goals – and offers 10 lessons for grantmakers that want to assume a changemaking role. This approach draws upon and leverages the Foundation’s knowledge, networks and civic reputation to supplement its grantmaking investments. Changemaking also required the Foundation to build new strategic competencies such as working across traditionally siloed grantmaking programs, adding evaluation and learning staff, and increasing communication and alignment between board and staff. (The Skillman Foundation is pleased to share Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Community Leadership Framework Toolbox

A tool for community foundations for using the Framework for Community Leadership by a Community Foundation. It can help your community foundation: Understand community leadership Assess your community leadership strengths and challenges Plan new community leadership work Analyze past and current community leadership efforts.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Community Leadership Stories

Leadership in Action Stories provide insight into how community foundations are approaching their community leadership work and putting the community leadership building blocks into practice. These stories illustrate the pathways and elements contained in the Framework for Community Leadership by a Community Foundation.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Communications , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , General Grants 









Community Leadership Tools – CooL Tools

What makes these tools so cool? They were developed and are being used by your community foundation colleagues! And they can help build your community leadership potential. Check out the variety of tools shared by your colleagues to advance community leadership work. Includes: Strategic Plans and Frameworks; Choosing and Timing Community Leadership Opportunities; Diversity and Inclusion; Donor Engagement; and Metrics

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Communications , Financial Stewardship, New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Consumer Voices for Coverage: Advocacy Evaluation Toolkit

The Advocacy Evaluation Toolkit contains the instruments Mathematica used to collect data for evaluating the Consumer Voices for Coverage program. It explains how the instruments were developed, what each was designed to measure, and how Mathematica used them for the evaluation. Although the instruments in the toolkit were designed to collect data for the grant program and reflect its structure and goals, they can be adapted for other situations and uses, ranging from an organization’s informal self-assessment to shape its activities to a comprehensive evaluation. The toolkit suggests some of these adaptations. For people who might not be familiar with evaluation methods, Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant 









Conversations with Remarkable Givers

“Conversations with Remarkable Givers” is a groundbreaking, free video series of frank and candid conversations with more than 60 remarkable, results-oriented philanthropists, providing unprecedented access to their strategic thinking, insights, and wisdom.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking, Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Creative Giving

A comprehensive look at giving. Who gives, how much, where to, and why. Sprinkled with statistics and analysis, powerful individual stories describe giving outside the lines. Writers talk about giving money unconventionally, seeking ways to give, and seeking gift recipients by their own rules, not according to established giving norms. Some giving alleviates the loneliness often endemic to inheritors. Others seek to share the joy in giving. Models for giving beyond that which supports culture, arts, education and policy institutions that serve the donors lifestyle. Compare your giving habits: amounts, causes, mechanisms, and goals.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Legal Issues, Foundations, and Nonprofits, Mission and Values, Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Cultivating Change: A Statistical Review of Grantmaking That Impacts the Lives of Black Men and Boy

Based on a survey of 24 foundations distributing 120 grants for black men and boys, the report analyzes foundation and grant characteristics, provides implications for philanthropy, and lists the grants used in the dataset.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources









Delivering on the Promise of Nonprofits

As U.S. nonprofits take on an increasing share of society’s work, they face mounting pressure from stakeholders – donors, boards, employees – to show results. To make the greatest possible impact, they need to explicitly state the outcomes they’re aiming for and how they plan to accomplish those goals. The authors say organizations should start by rigorously addressing a few interdependent questions: Which results will we hold ourselves accountable for? How will we achieve them? What will the results really cost, and how can we fund them? How do we build the organization we need to deliver those results? Together, Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World

Traditional philanthropy is no antidote to the complex problems that challenge our world today. Donors must go beyond check-writing to proactively catalyze change using a variety of tools and practices. Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World, features the stories of foundations and individuals who transcend traditional philanthropy, and illuminates the six catalytic practices that all donors can employ to achieve greater impact.This book provides a blueprint for foundation leaders, trustees, and individual donors who want to catalyze change in the world.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Do Nothing About Me Without Me

A growing number of grantmakers believe they can be more effective to the extent that they meaningfully engage their grantees and other key stakeholders. Grantmakers doing this work have arrived at an understanding that much of the knowledge and experience they need to solve the problems they want to solve, and to help them do a better job as grantmakers, resides in the communities they serve. The values guiding this work are captured by the phrase that has been made visible by the disability rights movement in recent years: “Nothing about me without me.”

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 









Donor Decision Tool: How to Research a Nonprofit

What is the best way to research, or perform due diligence on, a nonprofit organization you’re considering funding? The answer to that question depends on a number of factors, including how much you already know about the organization, the size of your grant, and its importance to the nonprofit, among other things. You will want to balance the extent of your effort with respect for the busy leaders of these organizations. To get started, just answer the questions you’ll find in this tool. We’ll recommend a tailored research plan based on your responses. Includes: Due Diligence guide Site Visit guide Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking









Donor Profile: The Hilton Foundation Sees a Need — and Finds a Partner

According to Steven Rothstein, president of the Perkins School for the Blind, if it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a “big village” to raise a child with disabilities. It also takes a donor with a special kind of focus, patience, and willingness to learn.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Issue-Specific Grants, Mission and Values









Donor Profile: The Lynch Foundation and Teach For America: How Philanthropy Can Help Ideas Become Reality

Peter and Carolyn Lynch take a portfolio approach to their philanthropy, and Teach For America is just one example of how they’re returning outsized impact for their investment dollars.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Issue-Specific Grants, Mission and Values, Program Learning and Evaluation









Donor Profile: The Sandlers and ProPublica: Muckraker for the 21st Century

What is the best way to tackle corruption? With ProPublica, the Sandler Foundation has revived a time-tested tactic that is proving as effective as ever.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Issue-Specific Grants, Mission and Values









Donor Profile: Carrie Avery and the Durfee Foundation – Honoring Family Values, while Forging New Paths

With an innovative sabbatical program for nonprofit leaders, Carrie Avery is translating her grandfather’s values into the third generation of family involvement with Durfee.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Issue-Specific Grants, Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Donor Profile: Connie Duckworth Weaves a Way for Afghan Women

What are your plans for retirement? In Afghanistan, Connie Duckworth is putting her Wall Street ambition and savvy to the test.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Issue-Specific Grants, Program Learning and Evaluation









Donor Profile: Pam Omidyar and the Science of Giving

Pam Omidyar’s philanthropic work—including founding or co-founding with her husband, Pierre, the Omidyar Network, Hope Lab, and Humanity United—demonstrates how she has translated her passions into social change. Includes: International philanthropy, Microfinance, Medical philanthropy.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking, Issue-Specific Grants, Mission and Values, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team, Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Philanthropy's History, Role in Society, Program Learning and Evaluation









Donor Profile: The Buffetts Find “The Sound”

What would you do with one billion dollars? Jennifer and Peter Buffett were faced with this extraordinary challenge and opportunity.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Issue-Specific Grants, Mission and Values, Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Editorial: A new vision for how the world works?

Is it possible that the next generation of donors are coming up with a new and better vision for how the world works? Take Jessan Hutchison-Quillian, the 25-year-old American Google engineer who gives away around 40 per cent of his salary because he doesn’t see why he needs more to live on than most of his friends. He imagines a world in which everyone gives away at least 10 per cent of their income – ‘that’s similar to taxes,’ as he points out.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant 









Effective Giving

It takes time and experience to learn how to give effectively, but the journey can be fun and rewarding. In this issue, people with surplus income talk about what they’ve learned about giving–what’s satisfying, what’s hard, what makes giving most effective. You’ll hear from “ordinary people,” as well as well known philanthropists. From Steve Kirsch, large-scale venture capitalist with his own multi-million dollar foundation, to Wayne Muller, who advocates giving small and simply on a local scale, this issue invites you to explore the range of available options –and find out what giving effectively means you.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Mission and Values, Program Learning and Evaluation









Embedded Philanthropy and the Pursuit of Civic Engagement

This article examines a range of civic engagement strategies pursued by embedded funders conducting community-change work in chronically disadvantaged communities. Embedded funders are place-based foundations that (1) commit to working in a particular community or communities over an extended period of time; (2) pursue direct and ongoing relationships with a range of community actors; (3) make community relationships and partnerships a primary vehicle of their philanthropic operation; and (4) provide extensive supports and resources beyond conventional grantmaking. Working as an embedded funder tends either to correlate with a prior commitment to civic engagement or to promote the development of such Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, New Grants Management, New Standards, Codes, and Ethics, Program Learning and Evaluation









Enrolling the Eligible: Lessons for Funders

Many social programs have a gap between the number of individuals eligible for services and the number enrolled. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation implemented Covering Kids & Families to increase enrollment in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Grantees sought to increase enrollment by raising awareness among low-income families, simplifying the application process, and coordinating among programs. Funders are encouraged to consider the lifecycle of programs and organizations, the skills in coalition-building and working with public officials that are needed, and the need to fit political strategies with the local culture.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Issue-Specific Grants, Program Learning and Evaluation









Evaluation With A Diversity Lens: Exploring Its Functions And Utility To Inform Philanthropic Effectiveness

This report reveals practical insights that can help foundations realize greater effectiveness through increasing inclusivity investments. This piece will prove particularly timely and instructive for funders embarking on the practice of evaluation with a diversity lens (EDL). EDL is an approach to program evaluation that emphasizes the importance of incorporating diverse voices (particularly those of intended program beneficiaries) to identify problems and to engage in program design, implementation, and data analysis.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, New Standards, Codes, and Ethics, Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Exposing Real World Philanthropy to the Next Generation of Social Work Leaders

This article describes a method for instructing social work students in the art of enhanced collaboration with foundations, shifting the focus from “writing a winning proposal” and “finding alternative funding sources” to “developing collaborative partnerships for sustainable community development and social change.” The program consists of four major steps: charitable foundation review and case presentation, self-guided review of real-world proposals, mock grant proposal development, and side-by-side proposal review. Student proposals were rated similarly by the instructor and the foundation program officer, even though different criteria were used, suggesting that well-written proposals are also likely to clearly address foundation information needs. Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Philanthropy's History, Role in Society









Factors Influencing Donor Partnership Effectiveness

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) produced six case studies on jointly funded programs related to the environment, global health, and information technologies in developing regions around the world. A two-dimensional tool probing eight factors that influence donor (funder) partnership performance and interinstitutional communication was developed and used in conjunction with a Partnering Process Model to guide the preparation of the case studies. The case studies demonstrated that communication is important externally, that is, among donor partners, and internally, that is, within the various divisions of IDRC. With the use of this tool, it was possible to observe how communication Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Foundation Evaluation Startup: A Pause for Reflection

This article reports on the accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned in creating a new Department of Research and Evaluation at the California HealthCare Foundation. Different tools were developed to address each of three key areas: performance assessment, organizational learning, and program evaluation. These new processes and tools have been well received by both staff and the board, and have become increasingly important as resources become more scarce, making understanding and maximizing the impact of investments even more critical. Fostering a culture of evaluative inquiry in a fast-paced, payout-oriented environment is a significant challenge – program staff often feels pressured to Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , General Grants , Program Learning and Evaluation









Foundation Readiness for Community Transformation: Learning in Real Time

This article describes the internal structures and processes adopted by The Skillman Foundation to support the iterative practice of “learning and doing” in the first phase of a rapidly evolving, ambitious community change enterprise in six Detroit neighborhoods. The foundation invested in its own and its partners’ capacity to learn in real time so that together they could adjust and readjust their strategies in response to initial results and, in doing so, deepen their working relationships and build further capacity for effective implementation. Challenges to supporting this learning culture included increased visibility and pressures to produce results and measurable outcomes, Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Grants Management, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team









Framework for Community Leadership by a Community Foundation

Recognizing that few guideposts existed for community foundations that want to be intentional about building their skills and aligning their organizations for community leadership, a group of philanthropy leaders – the National Task Force on Community Leadership – created this Framework. Built from actual community leadership experiences, it is the first effort to bring clarity to the practice of community leadership by community foundations. It allows community foundations to take stock, analyze options, develop strategies, and measure progress. It is a necessary first—and giant—step in creating a practical knowledge base.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team









Funder Collaboratives: Why and How Funders Work Together

When it comes to funder collaboratives, is the whole truly greater than the sum of its parts? Can foundations make a bigger impact with grant dollars by working together than by going it alone? Yes, grantmakers say, as long as members define their goals, set clear operational guidelines, and work from the start to make the collaborative function well for grantees. In this guide, contributors share strategies for structuring a collaborative to fit its purpose, building strong relationships and resolving conflicts, and figuring out if the collaborative you’re in is working. MORE Contributors also offer ample proof that collaboratives are Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 









Getting Results in Nonprofits and Philanthropy: Key Lessons in Strategy, Funding, and Leadership

An effective nonprofit sector can be a powerful force for change as well as a source of human inspiration. Three key levers can influence a nonprofit’s effectiveness and, ultimately, its ability to have impact: solid strategy; access to the necessary funding, and talent that begins with leaders and senior managers. This book shares The Bridgespan Group’s best thinking from the past 10 years on these key levers. The articles examine such essential topics as identifying nonprofit funding models, building stronger management teams, and creating plans to accomplish nonprofit goals.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking









Give Smart Content Library

Getting real, lasting results from your philanthropic giving requires planning, strategy, realism and partnership. Whether you’re new to philanthropy or farther along, the materials in the Give Smart library can help guide you in your philanthropic journey.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Mission and Values, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Program Learning and Evaluation









Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results

In Give Smart, Thomas J. Tierney pools his hands-on knowledge with philanthropy expert Joel L. Fleishman to create a much-needed primer for philanthropists and the nonprofit organizations they support. Drawing from personal experiences, testimonials, and Bridgespan’s case studies, including those of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Give Smart picks up where Jim Collins’ Good to Great and the Social Sectors left off and presents the first in-depth, expert guide for engaged donors and nonprofit leaders.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Mission and Values, Organization Learning and Evaluation 









GMNsight: Ideas About Big Data

“This has been the crossover year for Big Data — as a concept, as a term and, yes, as a marketing tool. Big Data has sprung from the confines of technology circles into the mainstream.”  — The New York Times What Big Data is, and what it means for how grants are made, are key questions in philanthropy circles thanks to the explosion of data-minded collaborative projects like The Reporting Commitment. Are grantmakers using Big Data? How does a foundation begin its Big Data adventure? What about privacy concerns? Will focusing on numbers take the humanity out of philanthropy? GMNsight’s Spring 2013 Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Grants Management, New Standards, Codes, and Ethics, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Program Learning and Evaluation









Grantmakers and Policy Engagement: An Illinois Profile

In July 2010 Donors Forum and NCRP jointly distributed a survey to Donors Forum members in order to learn more about their approach to policy engagement. The two organizations wanted this information to inform their mutual goal of fostering greater philanthropic understanding of the value of both engaging in advocacy and also funding nonprofits that use advocacy, organizing and civic engagement as tools to improve their communities. This report describes the survey findings.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 









Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a diverse community of more than 500 grantmakers reshaping the way philanthropy operates to invest in nonprofit success. Mission: Understanding that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success. Nonprofits are successful at achieving more meaningful change in our communities when they have the resources and skills to be effective. By not adequately responding to what nonprofits say they need most to maximize impact, funders can inadvertently do harm to the organizations and causes we intend to support. Changing grantmaker Read more




Grantmaking Strategies: Corporate Philanthropy

In today’s challenging economic environment, it is imperative that a company’s corporate citizenship program be strategic and tied to business goals while also meeting community needs. A company must maximize the impact of its community investments. Learn how to design and implement a strategic program, including writing a philosophy of giving, determining the giving guidelines, structuring the program, and developing a budget.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Financial Stewardship, Grantmaking, New Grants Management, Program Learning and Evaluation









High Impact Philanthropy Blog: Rethinking the E-Word

The following post was originally published on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog as part of a series exploring the meaning and value of strategic philanthropy. Evidence-based philanthropy. To some, that phrase offers the promise of long-overdue rigor. If the first principle of philanthropy and social impact is to do good, then evidence-based philanthropy ensures that we honor its corollary: Do no harm. To others, that phrase represents all that is going wrong with philanthropy and social innovation—the rise of the ivory-tower theorists and technocrats whose logic models and fixation with metrics blind them to real-world knowledge and common sense. It’s time Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Resources









Higher Impact Philanthropy

This article originally appeared in the February 2007 issue of Philanthropy magazine. An article about applying business principles to philanthropic strategies.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









How Do I Measure Results – Both Mine and My Grantees’ – In a Practical Way?

One of the most common concerns donors have is how to measure the results they are getting with their dollars. This “Frequently Asked Question” document helps donors think through how they can measure their own – and grantees’ results thoughtfully.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Grants Management, Program Learning and Evaluation









How To Guide: Defining Philanthropic Success

Your personal definition of success will provide much-needed focus to you and everyone supporting your work. Find out which three criteria will help you create a working definition of philanthropic success.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Program Learning and Evaluation









I’m Not Rockefeller: Implications for Major Foundations Seeking to Engage Ultra- High-Net-Worth Donors

This article describes how a group of 33 ultrahigh- net-worth philanthropists (UHNWPs) approach their giving. A few key areas dominated their giving priorities: education; health; poverty and social welfare; and children/youth initiatives each were a priority for more than a quarter of participants – with education expressed as an interest of 55 percent. A third of the 24 who responded to the question spent less than 10 percent of their full working time devoted to philanthropy, and 13 dedicated less than 20 percent of their working time. UHNWPs view their peers as their most trusted information resource. After peers, the Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Grants Management









Indicators of Effectiveness: Understanding and Improving Foundation Performance

Describes current practices in foundation performance assessment and provides a framework for overall performance assessment. MORE Based on CEP’s research during the Foundation Performance Metrics Pilot Study, which included a survey of CEOs of the country’s largest foundations, a survey of grantees of 23 foundations, in-depth interviews with foundation CEOs and trustees, and analysis of publicly available data.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organization Learning and Evaluation 









International Programming, Local Development, and Youth: An Experience in Northeast Brazil

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation funded a 10-year program of local development work in selected geographic areas in Northeast Brazil from 1997 – 2007. This article reports on program achievements and difficulties, and examines the ways in which the practices of the foundation facilitated and obstructed advances in the local development initiatives. Two main strategies were used: direct funding granted to organizations in the targeted regions and the creation of a comprehensive support system (e.g., youth projects funds, capacity-building in leadership and evaluation, and transfer of expertise from organizations). A team of foundation staff and consultants worked closely to create Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Issue-Specific Grants, New Grants Management









Investing In Leadership Volume 1: A Grantmaker’s Framework for Understanding Nonprofit Leadership Development

Ask any grantmaker about the distinguishing characteristics of strong and effective nonprofit organizations, and the conversation inevitably will turn to leadership. But what kind of leadership do nonprofits need, and what role can grantmakers play in strengthening leadership development in the sector? Given the vast literature on leadership development and the challenges of translating research and theory into practice, this publication explores a sampling of the leadership development literature.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team









Investing In Leadership Volume 2: Inspiration and Ideas from Philanthropy’s Latest Frontier

Grantmakers today are doing more than just talking about the connection between leadership and nonprofit performance. They are looking for information and perspective about what works and what others are doing. And, at the same time, pioneers are experimenting with various approaches, sometimes clumsily, but often with success.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career









Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?

Grantmakers recognize the value of supporting effective, well-led organizations — strong organizations create meaningful changes in the world. To help us understand whether we are making progress in supporting nonprofits in ways that allow them to be successful, GEO conducts field research to track trends in grantmaker practice. In short, we want to know: is grantmaking getting smarter? GEO’s 2014 study highlights some important shifts in how grantmakers support nonprofit results, but also reveals where we’re falling short. To help inform this study, we convened a nonprofit task force and feature the perspective of nonprofit leaders throughout the report to Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking, Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Is the Policy Win All? A Framework for Effective Social-Justice Advocacy

This article offers a theory-of-change framework to help those engaged in social-justice advocacy to reflect on whether social-justice values are being retained in the process. A reproductive rights effort in South Africa provides an example of how social justice values can be lost in the advocacy process. The failure to sustain work on the ground pointed to the need to maintain a base of support even after a policy victory. Strategies must be revisited as social and political contexts change. One of the critical social-justice values that supports the establishment and maintenance of alliances is collaboration, which must continue to Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Legal Issues, Foundations, and Nonprofits, New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, New Standards, Codes, and Ethics









Justin Laing on Successful Foundation-Grantee Relationships

Heinz Endowment Program Officer Justin Laing discusses keys to successful funder-grantee relationships with Philanthromedia’s Susan Herr.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Program Learning and Evaluation









Key Findings of More than Money: Making a Difference with Assistance Beyond the Grant

Vice President — Research Ellie Buteau, PhD shares key findings from CEP’s research on nonmonetary support.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Program Learning and Evaluation









Learn and Let Learn

This publication explores how learning communities can be powerful tools in creating and shaping peer connections that help expand knowledge, deepen skills and enhance practice. Learn and Let Learn offers key insights for grantmakers drawn from six in-depth case studies of learning communities gathered for GEO’s Scaling What Works initiative by the Research Center for Leadership in Action at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking









Learning From an Adaptive-Consultative Approach: One Foundation’s Experience in Creating Systems Change in Education

This article describes a creative relationship between the Ball Foundation and the Rowland Unified School District. The approach was adopted by the Ball Foundation when they observed that grantees who had a closer relationship with them were more successful than those who had a more traditional relationship with them. Based on the concept of “adaptive leadership,” the relationship allows for flexibility and a more collaborative approach between the foundation and grantee. This approach requires both the funder and the grantee to be committed to learning and adapting strategies as needed to respond to both results and changing contexts. The funder Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , General Grants 









Lending, Learning, Leading

This report tells the story of the CDFI Leadership Learning Network, a Casey Foundation initiative to equip leaders of community development finance institutions with the tools of results-based leadership (RBL). The Foundation shares lessons learned from the network, core RBL concepts and profiles of CDFI leaders as they apply RBL skills and tools to the work of their organizations.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources









Lessons from the Field: From Understanding to Impact

Three foundations — the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the Energy Foundation, and the Wilburforce Foundation — seek to make an impact on some of the most complicated challenges we face: civil rights, renewable energy sources, and wildlife protection. MORE This case study provides an in-depth look at how these foundations cultivate an understanding of their fields and then turn that understanding into more effective grantmaking.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Mission and Values, Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Lessons in Financial Management

The following article discusses how FMA and The Wallace Foundation are strengthening and improving the quality of afterschool groups in the Chicago area. Provides a snapshot of capacity-building efforts in one community. (FMA is pleased to share this article with the permission of The Chronicle of Philanthropy.)

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Financial Stewardship









Leveraging Grantmaking: Understanding the Dynamics of Complex Social Systems

The nonobvious interrelationships among elements in a complex system often thwart people’s best intentions to sustainably improve system performance. The complex, nonlinear problems that most foundations address can be solved most effectively by thinking systemically instead of linearly about these problems. Systems thinking offers a range of analytic tools to improve our capacity to think systemically, including ways to distinguish problem symptoms from root causes, reinforcing and balancing feedback, system archetypes, mental models, and system purpose and goals. Applying these tools enables us to target high leverage interventions that can lead to sustainable, system-wide improvement. These tools can be applied Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, New Grants Management









Listen, Learn, Lead: Grantmaker Practices That Support Nonprofit Results

GEO’s Change Agent Project seeks to inspire change in grantmakers so they can help their grantees achieve meaningful results. This report on Phase 1 of GEO’s Change Agent Project delves deeper into what is neccessary to instill change in grantmaking practices. This publication was reprinted in 2010.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking, Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career









Local Donor Collaboration: Lessons from Baltimore and Beyond

This study takes a close look at four Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG) funder cooperative groups that range in style from the relatively simple to the complex. The unique lens of the research is local donor collaboration as seen by the participants and staff themselves. In particular, the research explores three key issues: how local cooperatives begin, what makes them effective and sustainable over time, and the unique role that a regional association can play in furthering funder collaboration.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Mini-Intensive for New Philanthropists and Grantmakers

Immerse yourself in a comprehensive learning experience, and fuel your passion for grantmaking and private philanthropy. Faculty members and guest speakers from across the philanthropic community help you to learn how to give wisely. Explore a variety of funding approaches through presentations, discussions, graded assignments, and problem-solving exercises for groups and individuals. If you are an independent philanthropist, a member of a philanthropic family, or a professional grantmaker with just a few years of experience in grantmaking, this intensive is designed for you.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Financial Stewardship, General Grants , Grantmaking, Issue-Specific Grants, Mission and Values, New Grants Management, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Philanthropy's History, Role in Society, Program Learning and Evaluation









More Than Money: Making a Difference with Assistance Beyond the Grant

Most of foundations’ efforts to contribute ‘beyond the money’ has little beneficial impact on grantees. More than Money: Making a Difference with Assistance Beyond the Grant reveals that only when foundation staff provide assistance beyond the grant in one of two ways do grantees report a substantially more positive experience with their funders. MORE Three exemplary foundations are profiled: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Winter Park Health Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant 









Moving a Public Policy Agenda: the Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative Foundations

For more than three decades, conservative strategists have mounted an extraordinary effort to reshape politics and public policy priorities. NCRP’s report documents the substantial role that 12 conservative foundations have played in developing and sustaining key institutions in the movement. It also outlines lessons learned from grantmakers interested in influencing public policies.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant 









Next Gen Donors Report

The Next Gen Donors research project is a collaboration of 21/64 and the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy. The next generations of major philanthropists, who fit into “Gen X” (born 1964-1980) or “Gen Y/Millennial” (born 1981-2000) generational cohorts, will wield more philanthropic power than any previous generation. With an unprecedented amount of wealth, these donors hold the future of philanthropy in their hands, yet, until now, there has been little previous research on the powerful but very private group of young people who stand to become the major donors of the future Conducted in 2012, this report is based on first-of-its Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Mission and Values, Online Publication, Philanthropy's History, Role in Society, Resources









On The Money: A Review of Key Financial Challenges Facing Nonprofits Today — and How Grantmakers Can Help

Despite a wave of interest in recent years in what it takes to build stronger, more effective nonprofits, the sector as a whole still suffers from a chronic case of financial stress that inhibits effectiveness. Philanthropy can be a part of the problem, but also a part of the solution.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking









Paradigm Shift: A Foundation/Grantee Partnership Using Data to Drive Neighborhood Revitalization and Assess Impact

The Wachovia Regional Foundation spearheaded the formation of a partnership to create a participatory outcome evaluation framework for its neighborhood revitalization work. The framework integrates the use of primary and secondary data and has been modified and improved to strengthen a variety of the foundation’s comprehensive neighborhood revitalization efforts. Forty-one community-based organizations have utilized the framework as a key tool to craft and implement neighborhood plans in a 62-county region. The framework has enabled grantees and residents to better understand and capitalize on market dynamics, enhance their participation in revitalization activities and begin to demonstrate the impact of sustained, strategic Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropy's History, Role in Society









Partnering for Impact: Combining National Knowledge with Regional Leverage for Local Impact

This report documents the experiences, successes and lessons learned during the Learning and Action Agenda Project, an effort to provide local grantmakers with information and strategies around issues of importance to the Casey Foundation —particularly around the Foundation’s Family Economic Success framework — and to motivate them to take action on those issues within their own communities and networks.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 









Partnering for Impact: Combining National Knowledge with Regional Leverage for Local Impact

Regional associations of grantmakers can be natural and effective partners for national funders that wish to derive greater impact from their work in local areas. Regional associations have the ties that create strong local networks, the trust that creates local buy-in, and the knowledge about local issues, interests and culture. All of these things are absolutely vital for a national funder to incorporate if their work in local communities is to be successful. But what should national funders and regional associations keep in mind when working together? How do different perspectives come into play, and how do they affect understanding, Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 









Partnership Among National Foundations: Between Rhetoric and Reality

Collaboration among philanthropies is not so natural, and occurs less frequently than might be expected. This chapter examines partnerships involving national foundations generally and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation specifically. It explores the theoretical and practical reasons that collaboration among foundations should make sense, why it does not happen frequently, and what elements should be in place for partnerships among national foundations to succeed.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation 









Pennies for Progress

In 2008, on the eve of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, America’s foundations were doing better than ever. During the economic calamity that followed – as the housing, labor and stock markets collapsed – foundations weathered the storm better than most. Meanwhile, the public these foundations serve was suffering. One might expect foundations, whose charitable dollars escape taxation by virtue of serving the public good, to have increased their support for underserved communities during and after the Great Recession. We found that in the decade that ended in 2013, foundation support for America’s marginalized communities grew just 5 percent as a Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking and Changemaking, Resources









Philanthropy and Mistakes: An Untapped Resource

Sharing and leveraging lessons learned from mistakes is an important but underutilized resource to improve philanthropic investments and nonprofit performance. Philanthropic mistakes extend beyond the results of program evaluations to include questions of mission, role, investment strategies, and implementation. Distinguishing between “constructive” and “nonconstructive” mistakes focuses attention on those factors that shape the outcomes for even the most well-designed investments. Sharing and reflecting upon mistakes has the potential to improve philanthropic capacities for anticipation, learning, and adaptation. Philanthropy must recognize the sometimes blurry lines between success and failure, constructive and nonconstructive mistakes, and philanthropic and nonprofit sector accountability.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Philanthropy FAQ: How Do I Build Strong Relationships With Grantees?

As a donor, your grantees’ results are your results—they are creating change for the people and causes you care most passionately about. So collaborating effectively with your grantees is a critical step on your journey from aspirations to real results.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant 









Philanthropy FAQ: Should I Give Anonymously or Publicly?

Giving publicly or anonymously isn’t black or white. Philanthropy is a public expression of personal values and family commitments, with its own set of rewards and rules. Whether or not you “go public” is a matter of strategy and personal style. Ask yourself, given the change you want to see in the world, what’s the right approach? Here are some key considerations behind public and anonymous giving.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Communications , New Standards, Codes, and Ethics









Philanthropy, Evaluation, Accountability, and Social Change

Many foundations have substituted process accountability for accountability for contributing to social change. While process accountability is important, it sets a floor, not an aspirational ceiling. There are tools—such as risk analysis, systems approaches, and game theory—that can help philanthropy engage in work on complex social problems that cannot be deconstructed into a series of small, linear projects. Seeking to extend basic human rights to more individuals around the world, seeking to reduce racism in a given city, or seeking to change public health norms in small town—all of these aspirations require first a willingness to take on challenges that Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , General Grants , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Philanthropy’s Civic Role in Community Change

This article describes six key roles for philanthropic organizations’ engagement in communities. It draws on Living Cities, a consortium of financial organizations, private foundations, and public sector organizations that has been working since 1991 to improve distressed neighborhoods in 23 cities. The six civic roles described are (a) convening and leveraging diverse networks of relationships, (b) developing local data and plans for community change, (c) leveraging new resources on behalf of communities, (d) mobilizing political will, (e) framing new messages about community development and communicating more strategically, and (f) generating and testing new ideas and building and sharing knowledge. Typically Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , General Grants , Legal Issues, Foundations, and Nonprofits, New Standards, Codes, and Ethics









Programming on a Blank Slate: A Case on grantmaking in rural poverty

Imagine starting a new grantmaking program from scratch — no prior grantees, no established procedures, no set objectives. One grant maker’s experience in starting a rural program illustrates some of the questions you’d need to answer. Highlights: Taking up a new job in a new field; Identifying key issues to address; Narrowing the field & making your first decisions.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Issue-Specific Grants









Project Streamline: Practices That Matter

The cumulative impact of grantmakers’ varied application and reporting requirements undermines nonprofit effectiveness, causing grantseekers to devote too much time to seeking funding (often without payoff) and reporting on grants (often without benefit) to the detriment of their mission-based work. Awareness is translating into streamlining action for many grantmakers. Yet our 2013 assessment reveals that, while nonprofits have noticed changes, all still encounter time-wasting practices. While 77 percent of donors have taken steps to simplify things, fundraisers say they don’t feel much of a change. Based on what matters most to grantseekers, as well as understanding of what keeps grantmakers from implementing streamlining and the context of other pressures Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking, New Grants Management, Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Reflection on Practice Video: Building a Network

This video follows the efforts of a grant maker as he works with state-based organizations to build on a successful national model. It looks at how he encouraged them to form a network, work collaboratively, and bring in other funders.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant 









Reflection on Practice Video: Starting as a New Grantmaker

This video looks at a variety of issues commonly faced by new program officers as they take up their role — from finding promising ideas to support, to understanding the dynamics of good grantee/grantor relations, to helping grantees collaborate effectively with others.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Human Resources , Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career









Reframing Assessment of Grantee Perceptions: Reconsidering Effectiveness With Broader International Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is important in philanthropy because it allows grantmakers and grantees to pool their respective resources more effectively to address their shared target issues. As more and more foundations and other grantmaking entities venture into the expansive world of self-evaluation, it is prudent that these methods be examined in light of international funding relationships. In order to better understand how these tools and methods can be used internationally, we outline the opportunities presented when using frames as one basis for decision-making in complex situations. Using the hypothetical case of a U.S. funder seeking to understand grantee perception in East Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Grants Management, Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Reframing the Conversation: A GEO Briefing Paper Series on Growing Social Impact

Conversations on scale and innovation continue to dominate philanthropic discourse as the social sector forges new ways to achieve greater impact with limited resources. Motivated by the desire to explore and expand upon current approaches to growing social impact, invite wider participation in the scaling conversation, and showcase practical examples and peer-to-peer advice, we developed this briefing paper series as part of the Scaling What Works initiative. The collection pulls together the best thinking, research and actionable approaches to scaling impact, and provides additional resources for grantmakers that want to dive deeper into paper concepts and questions.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking









Scope, Scale, and Sustainability: What It Takes to Create Lasting Community Change

This article examines success factors that relate specifically to the ability of a comprehensive community initiative (CCI) to achieve the scope and scale required to generate community-level outcomes and to sustain those positive impacts over time. The CCIs selected for study represent a wide range of goals, strategies, and organizational structures. Six factors were found to cut across scope, scale, and sustainability. These factors include having a single broker or entity that holds the vision of the change effort; clearly defined roles; alignment among interventions, resources, and geography; meaningful community engagement; competent leadership and staff; and strategic, cross-level relationships. Additional Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , General Grants , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Setting the Table for a Sustainable and Just Food System

As consumers and producers, people of color have been affected disproportionately by systemic problems in the food system. This article describes the Diversifying Leadership for Sustainable Food Policy initiative, a joint effort of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to build the capacity of organizations led by people of color to engage in policy and advocacy work. Grantees successfully built their capacity to engage in policy work (e.g., increased capacity to identify policy targets), increased their organizational capacity (e.g., diversified boards), improved their communities’ capacity (e.g., created opportunities for dialogue and improved access to fresh Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Issue-Specific Grants, New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion









Smarter Grantmaking in Challenging Economic Times: Insights for Foundation Leaders

We have produced this briefing, based on conversations we’ve had with hundreds of grantmakers, to provide foundation leaders with a framework and considerations to help guide decisions about how best to support grantees.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking









Social Movements and Philanthropy: How Foundations Can Support Movement Building

As foundations seek to catalyze broad-based social change, there is a need for greater understanding of what social movements are, how they evolve, and how foundations can support them. Movement building presents unique challenges to foundations. Because movements, by definition, must be driven by the people who are most affected, foundations cannot determine the goals and timetables of a movement. The authors identify five core elements to movement building: organizing an authentic base; leadership; vision and ideas; alliances; and advocacy infrastructure. A framework for evaluating movement building is proposed, which can help foundations identify measureable outcomes and track progress throughout Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Stop managing grants. Start managing your network.

Scaling solutions, building resilience, catalysing innovation: these are the philanthropy sector’s buzzwords du jour. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these goals – except that the current programme officer position isn’t set up to deliver them. If you want to have social impact, stop thinking of this role as managing a set of grants and instead consider what it means to be a network manager.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Individual Development - Strengthening/Building Your Career, Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Program Learning and Evaluation









Strategies for Facilitating Evaluation Capacity Building

This webinar was presented as a part of the Developing Capacities for Country Monitoring and Evaluation Systems series sponsored by UNICEF, IOCE and DevInfo. It presents strategies, challenges and lessons learned in facilitating evaluation capacity building as well as key factors in effective training for a sustainable evaluation practice.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Program Learning and Evaluation









Strategy & Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility

Moving past generic CSR principles: learn how societal influence is becoming the new frontier of competitive advantage.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities: Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing and Civic Engagement in Pennsylvania

This report looks at how 15 Pennsylvania nonprofits organizations and their allies leveraged foundation grants to secure nearly $122 of benefit for every dollar spent for Pennsylvania residents. The report is the sixth from NCRP’s Grantmaking for Community Impact Project (GCIP) series. (Note: Printed copies are available for purchase)

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant 









Strong Starts for Children

This five-session discussion guide helps people talk about and take on ideas for improving the lives of our communities’ youngest children. The guide walks people through discussions of how we are connected to the lives of children in our community; the “invisible” effects of racism and poverty; and, ultimately, plans for taking action in our communities.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Issue-Specific Grants, New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion









Supporting Social Entrepreneurship

For philanthropists accustomed to more traditional grantees, yet interested in backing these groundbreaking leaders, funding social entrepreneurs can feel like entering uncharted territory. Donors might find themselves intrigued by the potential for change, and yet, at the same time, unsure of what to expect in a field where the unexpected is the norm.   That’s why we wrote this brief guide. Think of it as an introduction to social entrepreneurship. Part of our Philanthropy Roadmap series, the guide is designed to help philanthropists evaluate whether they want to include support for social entrepreneurs in their giving or investment programs, and Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Essentials, Making and Managing Grants, Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Sustainability Is Made, Not Born: Enhancing Program Sustainability Through Reflective Grantmaking

This article explores how reflective grantmaking can lead to enduring changes in the communities that foundations serve. The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati’s approach to evaluating and improving the sustainability of grant-funded projects is reviewed as an example. Their grantmaking framework includes policy and advocacy work, evaluation support, communications support, and technical assistance in addition to traditional funding of projects. This framework promotes sustainability of the funded work.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organizational Development - Strengthening/Building Your Team









TEDx: Amplify the Money You Give

The word “philanthropist” evokes the names of billionaire donors – Rockefeller, Gates, Pew – but in reality, most charitable giving comes from regular people giving smaller amounts. How can you, the non-billionaire, do the most good with what you give? Kat Rosqueta shows how to become a high-impact philanthropist, with a few tips for getting more engaged with your donations – one dollar, one cause, at a time. She believes the word is not just for Rockefellers; rather, a philanthropist is anyone who gives money, time, or skill with the goal of helping make the world better, at any scale.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Resources









Ten Nonprofit Funding Models

Through our research, we have identified 10 nonprofit models that are commonly used by the largest nonprofits in the United States. Our intent is not to prescribe a single approach for a given nonprofit to pursue. Instead, we hope to help nonprofit leaders articulate more clearly the models that they believe could support the growth of their organizations, and use that insight to examine the potential and constraints associated with those models.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Financial Stewardship, Organization Learning and Evaluation 









The 2014 Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits

For more than eight years, Idealware has researched the software that can help nonprofits more easily meet their missions. We’ve interviewed countless nonprofit staff members on hundreds of different topics to gather the impartial information that organizations need to make better decisions, and spent thousands of hours analyzing it to create easy-to-understand overviews. The Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits is the culmination of our work, summarizing all that information into a handy, easy-to-use publication–and we’ve just updated it for 2014. Through straightforward overviews, it helps nonprofits pinpoint the types of software that might be useful for their needs and Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Making and Managing Grants









The Art of Community Double Dutch: Knowing When to Jump In

This article uses the childhood experience of learning how to play Double Dutch jump rope as an allegory to navigating complicated community leadership through civic engagement. There is both an art and a science to deciding when and why to work with a broad base of stakeholders to attempt comprehensive community change. The key lessons are the following: (1) follow the noise and find the excitement, (2) ask questions and get into conversations, (3) set the rules of the game, 4) keep score, 5) get the right equipment and players, 6) know when to jump in and when to jump Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









The Blind Men and the Elephant: Learning a Little at a Time About Civic Engagement

This article, written from the perspective of the evaluator, describes what happened in one community in which four non-collaborating funders were supporting community development programs. The Treeline Collaborative evolved from grassroots origins to become a leading organization in the community, serving as a one-stop shop for many programs and providing a structure for civic engagement of residents. A collaborative evaluation would have enabled a deeper understanding of the Treeline Collaborative, the outcomes it attained and missed, and the multiple roles it plays in the community, perhaps leading to more effective program and funding decisions.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Grants Management, Program Learning and Evaluation









The Donor-Grantee Trap: How Ineffective Collaboration Undermines Philanthropic Results for Society, and What Can Be Done About It

A guide for nonprofit leaders, their boards, and their donors.Scarce resources (both money and time) are routinely wasted in the critical linkage between donor and grantee. As a consequence, our communities—the causes and constituents we are trying to serve—are being unnecessarily shortchanged.What’s needed is more effective donor-grantee collaboration, so that philanthropists and the nonprofit organizations they support can get the absolute most from every scarce dollar they invest. Reduced to the essentials, there are three imperatives of true collaboration—for which both donors and grantees must share responsibility.The Donor-Grantee Trap details each imperative in turn. It is written for nonprofit executives, Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Grantmaking, Philanthropic Models & Approaches









The DOs and DON’Ts of Working with Local Funders

The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers presents practical guidance for national funders to further relationships and deepen the impact of philanthropic investments made in collaboration with local funders.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









The Future of Family Philanthropy – Predicting and Preparing

The future of family philanthropy is an uncertain one, with dramatic changes taking place both in families and in philanthropy itself. But along with the uncertainty comes possibility and excitement; along with future challenges there are energized new donors and emerging innovations that could improve family giving in ways few would have predicted just a few years ago. Based on the candid peer conversations and insights from thought leaders that were offered during two “National Summits” on family philanthropy, this brief envisions the changes in the field, and suggests ways to adapt family giving for a better future– a future Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Mission and Values, Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Philanthropy's History, Role in Society









The Grantmaker’s Role in Theory of Change

Innovation Network developed these three introductory evaluation documents as part of Building Nonprofit Capacity to Evaluate, Learn, and Grow Impact, a workshop we presented in partnership with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations’ Scaling What Works initiative.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Field/Sector Learning and Evaluation , New Grants Management, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Program Learning and Evaluation









The International Charitable Nonprofit Subsector

Though international nonprofits are just 2 percent of the U.S. charitable nonprofit sector, they have continued to grow in size and scope to meet pressing demands around the world. This policy brief provides a snapshot of the international subsector through an analysis of trends in their size, resources, and scope from FY 2001 to FY 2003 in three major areas of operation: international development and relief assistance, international understanding (e.g., educational exchanges), and international affairs. It gives an overview of the geographic concentrations and the depth of U.S. international nonprofit activities and enumerates the importance of small organizations in international Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Philanthropy's History, Role in Society









The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle

Why do nonprofits and funders alike continue to shortchange overhead? To answer this question, we studied four national nonprofits that serve youth. Each organization has a mix of funding, including monies from government, foundation, and individual sources. We also interviewed the leaders and managers of a range of nonprofit organizations and funders, as well as synthesized existing research on overhead costs in the nonprofit sector. Our research reveals that a vicious cycle fuels the persistent underfunding of overhead.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , General Grants 









The Smarter Grantmaking Playbook

We know that grantmakers who understand and act in the best interest of grantees achieve better results. Practicing smarter grantmaking can make the difference between pretty good performance and achieving the best possible results. But, where should you start? Take smarter steps forward in your grantmaking with The Smarter Grantmaking Playbook. Find the answers you seek to more than 50 common questions captured from your GEO peers. Receive a primer on the grantmaking practices that are most supportive of nonprofit success. Turn knowledge into action with practical tools, frameworks and related resources that you can share with your colleagues to Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, New Grants Management









Three Cases of Better Corporate Philanthropy – Nike, Goldman Sachs, and Intel

Given that companies are putting more than $14 billion a year into charitable causes, measuring results and ensuring real social impact should be important goals. A few corporate leaders are realizing these goals, including Goldman Sachs, Nike and Intel. MORE To do this they apply the same discipline to their charitable work that they do to their core business — insisting on strategic focus, investing at scale and measuring results.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , General Grants , Organization Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Transitions: an opportunity like no other

Following the January 2011 revolt in Tunisia against the regime of President Ben Ali, the country’s transition leaders adopted an open-door approach to foreign aid. An avalanche of mostly uncoordinated aid followed. Donors – private and bilateral – arrived asking questions like, ‘Who is your Mandela?’ They produced an event overload, sponsoring dozens of conferences and hotel-room trainings on identical topics. Funding opportunities and partnerships were concentrated in the capital, Tunis, and in few other parts of the country. Grant applications were often English-only. Talent was drained from local organizations to produce repetitive mappings of civil society for external donors Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Communications , Issue-Specific Grants, Mission and Values, Philanthropy's History, Role in Society









Ukraine: foundations, the crisis and the future

Since the explosion of popular protest in Maidan Square, Ukraine has been riven by civil and political strife whose character and shape is often as difficult to discern as its eventual outcome. In this supercharged atmosphere of political protest and martial posturing, what have foundations been doing to help those caught up in events or struggling to reshape their country?

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Issue-Specific Grants, New Grants Management









Understanding Software for Program Evaluation

In our increasingly data-driven world, nonprofits need more than ever to be able to measure and monitor the effectiveness of their programs. It’s difficult to improve program services or reach without first measuring current effectiveness. How many meals served at a soup kitchen, the number of students in a mentoring program who graduate high school, the percent of the target population without access to affordable housing—such numbers help organizations identify the areas where they can improve their programs. Like many big-data issues, the sector looks to technology to help with program evaluation. We have donor management databases, case management systems, Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Making and Managing Grants









Vital Funding Part Two: Grantmaking Strategies for Improving LGBTQ Health

Vital Funding Part Two builds upon the rich conversations from the first LGBT Health Funding Summit and Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ special report, Vital Funding – Investing in LGBTQ Health and Wellbeing. This second report identifies several potential strategies for funders concerned about health disparities, HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQ communities to increase access to insurance coverage for LGBTQ people; build the capacity of the HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health services sector; increase LGBTQ cultural and clinical competence of health service providers and systems; strengthen HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health policy and advocacy infrastructure; and support efforts to address mental and behavioral health and Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Essentials, Making and Managing Grants, New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion









Voices From the Field III: Lessons and Challenges for Foundations Based on Two Decades of Community-Change Efforts

Building upon a previously published volume on Comprehensive Community Initiatives, this article focuses upon the implications for foundations of what has been learned about CCIs. CCIs can demonstrate increased community capacity and improved outcomes for some residents in their target neighborhoods, but they cannot demonstrate population-level change in key indicators of well-being. Five key questions about the role of funders and how they engage in community change are posed and discussed. Deep engagement in the community; thoughtful collaboration among funders of various types and sizes; the willingness to use other resources, capacities and tools in addition to grants; and using Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking









Webinar Recap – Community Voices Heard: Engaging Constituents for Social, Economic and Racial Justice

Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led multi-racial organization, principally women of color and low-income families in New York State that builds power to secure social, economic and racial justice for all.  They accomplish this through grassroots organizing, leadership development, policy changes, and creating new models of direct democracy. Learn how CVH builds leadership development and collective power towards broader goals of government transparency and social justice. We explored case studies around three impact issues: welfare policy reform, public housing reform, and participatory budgeting. We also learned what it looks like to fund this work. Attendees learned how funding community Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Diversity, Equity and Inclusion









When You’ve Made Enough to Make a Difference

To achieve breakthrough changes, donors need a multiplier effect—an approach that delivers many dollars’ worth of impact for each dollar invested. In short, they need to develop an investment model. To do so, donors must understand two fundamental areas: the methods of change that breakthrough results require (such as scaling high-impact nonprofit organizations or changing government policy) and how they can best support those efforts—through the roles they play, the resources they devote, and the relationships they develop.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Organization Learning and Evaluation 









Who Manages the Money?: How Foundations Can Democratize Capital

For the past twenty-five years or more there has been a groundswell of activity among investment managers institutional investors, consultants and diversity advocates to democratize capital — that is, to create more opportunities for diverse investment professionals and the firms they lead, to manage institutional capital This effort, grounded in both fiduciary and equity principles, has led to the growth of many diverse investment management firms like Progress Investment Management Company LLC (“Progress”) and others. A range of stakeholders now recognizes that democratization of capital brings a range of positive benefits to our industry and society at large

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Financial Stewardship









Why funding research is not enough

‘Don’t just tell me what to do, come and help me do it!’ said an Indian government official to a researcher bearing results from studies into effective aid programmes. His response is salutary: there is much work now on increasing the use of evidence in public policy, so we need to understand what policymakers actually need and want, and what will help them be more evidence-driven. For foundations there is a clear message: it isn’t enough just to fund research. You have to make sure it reaches the relevant policymakers and in a form that is useful to them. Over Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , New Grants Management, Organization Learning and Evaluation , Philanthropic Models & Approaches









Working Well With Grantees

CEP’s research shows that program officers can be the distinguishing factor between a foundation that makes a difference—and one that simply makes grants. Working Well With Grantees: A Guide for Foundation Program Staff offers program staff critical guidelines for building better relationships with grantees. The findings and suggestions in the guide are based on data from tens of thousands of surveys of nonprofits conducted by CEP during the past decade. We’ve updated, summarized, or expanded upon findings from six of our publications that focus on how foundations and grantees can best work together. We also share for the first time some new data and analysis Read more

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Mission and Values, Philanthropic Models & Approaches, Program Learning and Evaluation









Working with Grantees: The Keys to Success and Five Program Officers Who Exemplify Them

Successful foundation-grantee relationships hinge on the prowess of individual program officers, whose abilities may vary widely within a single foundation. This research explores what grantees value in their relationships with program officers and identifies four keys to success. MORE Five high-performing program officers share their stories.

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Catagories: Beyond the Grant , Grantmaking, Organization Learning and Evaluation