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Changing in Place: The Skillman Foundation, Detroit, and the Good Neighborhoods Initiative — How did a hometown grantmaker conduct and conclude its largest-ever initiative?

To capture information on the unique challenges facing an embedded funder as it changes program direction, Bob Tobin, senior consultant at Williams Group, interviewed Marie Colombo, Skillman Foundation director for strategic evaluation and learning in this article of The Foundation Review.





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Developing Foundation-University-Grantee Collaboratives as a Model for High-Impact Philanthropy

The Weingart Foundation’s Urban School Districts Reform Initiative sought to improve urban education, and ultimately raise student achievement, by supporting sustainable reforms in school districts educating high numbers of low-income students. Based on research by an intermediary, six selected school districts were invited to propose projects that were a fit for their own strategic plans; four were funded. Based on this experience, three key design elements were identified: 1) Confine the initiative to a content area or target population, 2) Pay attention to geography, and 3) Encourage boundary-spanning.





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Moving Diversity Up the Agenda: Lessons and Next Steps From the Diversity in Philanthropy Project

The Diversity in Philanthropy Project (DPP) was a three-year voluntary effort of leading foundation trustees, senior staff, and philanthropy support organization executives committed to increasing diversity and inclusive practice across organized philanthropy’s boards, staff, grantmaking, contracting, and investing. DPP had significant achievements, but also faced its share of challenges.





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Speak Your Peace: A Communications Strategy for Changing Community Culture

“Speak Your Peace: The Civility Project” (SYP) was developed by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation and the Millennium Group to improve the civility of public discourse, under the premise that this would strengthen community decision making, expand civic engagement, and increase residents’ interest in elected office. The SYP campaign used a multi-modal approach to promote nine principles (or “tools”) adapted from Forni’s book Choosing Civility (e.g., pay attention, take responsibility, apologize, give constructive criticism).