0

Staying the Course: How a Long-Term Strategic Donor Initiative to Conserve the Amazon Has Yielded Outcomes of Global Significance

This article examines how the design principles of a major philanthropic initiative have influenced its performance, and provides a practical example of strategic philanthropy that can contribute to the current debate over the merits and flaws of this approach.





0

The Philanthropy As One Big Impact Investment: A Framework For Evaluating A Foundation’s Blended Performance

This article proposes a framework for evaluating a foundation’s blended performance that enables both grantmaking and endowment investing to be evaluated jointly, and thus also allows a complete evaluation of how impact investments could improve — or fail to improve — overall performance.







0

Marguerite Casey Foundation: Reflecting on 15 Years of Philanthropic Leadership Through a Summative Evaluation

This article presents the findings of a summative evaluation of the Marguerite Casey Foundation that was conducted on the occasion of its 15th anniversary. The evaluation was designed to gauge stakeholders’ perceptions of the foundation’s operations to facilitate organizational learning. In sharing these results, the authors seek to elucidate the role of evaluation as a learning practice within the field of philanthropy.





0

Foundations as Network Strategists, Weavers, and Managers: Learning From One Foundation’s Journey and Results

This article shares insights from a five-year evaluation of the Oral Health 2020 network, an effort by the DentaQuest Foundation to align and strengthen efforts in service of a national movement to improve oral health. The evaluation helped to place the foundation’s journey in the context of a broader field seeking new approaches to achieve deep and sustainable social change.





0

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.





0

End-Game Evaluation: Building a Legacy of Learning In a Limited-Life Foundation

This article shares the emerging hypotheses of two foundations, The Atlantic Philanthropies and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation — each four years from sunset — about the opportunities and challenges for evaluation in the limited-life context. The article argues that systematically capturing and sharing knowledge — about programs, as well as social-change methods and grantmaking practices — can increase a foundation’s influence and impact during its final years and beyond.





0

Exiting From Large-Scale Initiatives: Lessons and Insights From a National Scan of Philanthropy

This article shares insights and lessons from a research project commissioned by The California Endowment in early 2016 to inform the planning for its transition out of Building Healthy Communities. A guiding framework for exit and sustainability planning is presented as a set of recommendations that relate to issues such as managing relationships between funder and grantee partners during the exit, using the initiative’s theory of change as a tool for decision-making, finding a balance between demonstrable success and equity, and managing the internal processes of the funding organization.





0

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

This article discusses four areas where foundation exits present particular challenges and where there are significant opportunities to improve practice — deciding on and planning to exit, funder leadership, clear communication, and final grants — and includes summaries of advice from funder and grantee perspectives.







0

Partnership With Government: An Exit Strategy for Philanthropies?

Atlantic Philanthropies’ exit strategy involved a formal partnership arrangement with the Northern Ireland Assembly. This article draws on qualitative data gathered through interviews with key stakeholders — the funder, government officials, and NGOs — and considers the consequences of this approach for sustaining and mainstreaming policies and practices. It also offers both specific and general lessons on partnering with government as an exit strategy.





0

The Legacy of a Philanthropic Exit: Lessons From the Evaluation of the Hewlett Foundation’s Nuclear Security Initiative

This article describes how the findings of the NSI evaluation informed Hewlett’s philanthropic approach, and provides a case example of a philanthropic-initiative exit. Key considerations for monitoring and evaluation practices particular to the context of a planned exit are discussed.







0

Designing Technical-Assistance Programs: Considerations for Funders and Lessons Learned

Funders use technical assistance (TA) to expand organizations’ capacity, identify solutions to problems, and develop strategies for long-term change. In this article, the authors document considerations for funders in developing strong TA programs, based on their evaluations of two state-based TA programs.







0

Laying the Groundwork for a National Impact Investing Marketplace

This article discusses the practice of impact investing. The Impact Finance Center partnered with foundations and other investors in Colorado to create CO Impact Days and Initiative to demonstrate how to address this need for a more efficient and effective marketplace.  





0

Influences of Venture Philanthropy on Nonprofits’ Funding: The Current State of Practices, Challenges, and Lessons

This article looks at the current state of venture philanthropy practices in the nonprofit sector, based on data from a survey of 124 nonprofits that engage in venture philanthropy. The survey probes to what degree nonprofit funders are implementing core activities of venture philanthropy – use of market-based funding instruments, providing strategic assistance, board participation, and use of social and financial performance criteria.  





0

Investing in Community Change: An Evaluation of a Decade of Data-Driven Grantmaking

In 2014, the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation engaged The Reinvestment Fund and Success Measures at NeighborWorks America to jointly evaluate the impact of its grantmaking and related programs from 2003 to 2013, to determine if practices in its approach could be transferred to other regions, and to assess its influence in the field.







0

Understanding Philanthropy Consulting: A Tool to Identify the Roles and Capabilities Needed From External Support

The article categorizes seven capability areas, from strategy setting to talent development, that are core to all foundations. Then, it identifies trigger points within these capability areas that lead foundations to undertake projects that may require outside support. Third, the article maps the capabilities that foundations consider in determining whether and how to engage philanthropy consultants.  





0

Activating the Power of Place: A Case Study of Market Creek

This article tells the story of a placed-based initiative to develop well-being and wealth in the historically underserved Diamond Neighborhood in San Diego, and discusses the place-based philosophy of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and the foundation’s motivation for place-based work.





0

A Foundation’s Theory of Philanthropy: What It Is, What It Provides, How to Do It

This article argues that philanthropic endeavors should be undergirded by a theory of philanthropy. The theory-of-philanthropy approach is designed to help foundations align their strategies, governance, operating and accountability procedures, and grantmaking profile and policies with their resources and mission.      





0

Theory of Philanthropy Inquiry Tool

Some 30 elements that can feed into a comprehensive theory of philanthropy represent a customizable tool for exploring the issues foundations face. A foundation can use the tool to gather data and perspectives about specific aspects of its heritage and approach; what is learned in addressing the elements can then be synthesized into a succinct and coherent theory of philanthropy.





0

Goal-Free Evaluation: An Orientation for Foundations’ Evaluations

Goal-free evaluation (GFE), in program evaluation, is a model in which the official or stated program goals and objectives are withheld or screened from the evaluator. This article presents the case for GFE as a perspective that belongs in a foundation’s toolbox. In particular, this article demonstrates GFE’s actual use, highlights aspects of its methodology, and details its potential benefits.





0

Benchmarking Evaluation in Foundations: Do We Know What We Are Doing?

This article presents new findings about what foundations are doing on evaluation and discusses their implications. It is based on 2012 research that benchmarks the positioning, resourcing, and function of evaluation in foundations, and follows up on a 2009 study that used a similar design.  





0

The Logic Model Guidebook: Better Strategies for Great Results (Second Ed.): Book Review

The second edition of The Logic Model Guidebook: Better Strategies for Great Results is a straightforward guide, with excellent and varied examples, that achieves its purpose of giving readers a “basic understanding of how to create and use logic models” (p. xii). As enthusiastic champions of logic models, the authors adhere to the assumption that articulating precise and detailed logic models will lead to better results.





0

Assessing and Advancing Foundation Transparency: Corporate Foundations as a Case Study

This article explores the mix of forces, such as a six-drivers framework, a tool for assessing foundation transparency internationally, and implications for foundation practitioners follow, which explain variability in good-governance standards and practices by charitable foundations.  





0

Tactics in Philanthropy: The Case of the Moving Spotlight

In philanthropy, tactics are about choices of style and method in making grants or loans. They can be as significant in foundation program design and management as substantive strategic choices. The author describes the tactical pattern of “the Moving Spotlight.” He concludes that tactical principles can provide internal discipline for private foundations. Self-discipline deserves close and explicit attention from foundation trustees, managers, and staff because it is nearly the only kind available to them.





0

How Inclusion and Equity Are Transforming a Foundation and a Community

The Denver Foundation launched what is now known as the Inclusiveness Project in 2002 to help nonprofits, including funders, become more inclusive of people of color. The project operates on three levels: individual, organizational and sector. An extensive evaluation has shown that there are impacts at all levels, including increasing the number of people of color interested in careers in nonprofits, organizations incorporating inclusiveness in policies and practices, and greater awareness and attention to disparities on the part of the funding community.





0

Changemaking: Building Strategic Competence

This article reports initial lessons about the Skillman Foundation’s changemaking practice. The foundation built new strategic competencies that draws upon and leverages knowledge, networks, and civic reputation to supplement grantmaking investments. Ten lessons for foundations that want to assume a changemaking role are offered.





0

Evaluating the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund’s Social Determinants of Health Portfolio

The authors present an overview of the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund’s social determinants of health initiative and its theory of change. The fund is based at the Northwest Health Foundation. The authors introduce frameworks and methods used to conduct their evaluation. The fund reached multiple sectors and established new partners and relationships, but the lack of depth may limit opportunities to make a profound and measurable difference within any specic domain.





0

Strategies for Impacting Change in Communities of Color

The authors describe the work of the Cultures of Giving initiative funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation over a ve-year period. The goal of the initiative was to understand, develop, and support philanthropic giving within and among communities of color. Based on learning from evaluations, as the initiative progressed the theory of change was modied and new program components were added. Results suggest that leadership development is an important strategy. A community of practice around giving in communities of color was created, suggesting the potential for long-term impact.





0

Defining, Building, and Measuring Capacity: Findings From an Advocacy Evaluation

This article reports the results from Mathematica Policy Research’s evaluation of Consumer Voices for Coverage, a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the role of consumer health advocacy coalitions in 12 states. The authors propose that funders address three elements of coalition capacity: knowledge, infrastructure, and resources. Each requires different types of interventions.





0

Building the Capacity of California’s Safety Net: Lessons From the Strengthening Community Dental Practices Demonstration

The authors describe the results of a demonstration project funded by the California HealthCare Foundation and the California Pipeline Program. They assessed the effectiveness of practice-management consulting in helping California’s safety-net dental practices survive and thrive. The evaluation showed that most clinics made measurable improvements. Their experiences point to several factors that create an environment for success. A second phase of the project is being implemented that builds on lessons learned from the demonstration.





0

Bridging Silos, Improving Systems

Systems that provide services to children tend to operate in silos; foundations can play a role in helping bridge these silos by supporting “systems building” efforts. This article explores the challenges and lessons learned in systems building work. Educating grantees and other community members about systems and systems building is a critical first step in the process. Supporting systems building requires an iterative process and foundations should continuously reinforce the importance of systems building activities.





0

Corporate Giving Gets Smarter: ConAgra Foods Foundation Fights Childhood Hunger

This article captures the work from the ConAgra Foods Foundation and grantee perspective. It describes emerging dynamics in corporate social responsibility that influence corporate giving and articulate relevant lessons for organizational performance. Ultimately, consumer awareness and community action across the country are key to progress on the issue of childhood hunger in America. Along the way, savvy corporate funders and their colleagues will get farther faster on complex social issues with the use of potent tools and processes.





0

Building the Capacity of Networks to Achieve Systems Change

This article describes the network-building strategy of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation and the role that network officers play in carrying out this strategy. The author then assesses whether this strategy adds value for networks and discusses a range of complications that the strategy introduces, especially with regard to the grantmaker-grantee relations. Assuming that the foundation can meet these challenges, this approach may turn out to be the most effective way for a foundation to assist networks in achieving their full potential.





0

Evaluation for Models and Adaptive Initiatives

The authors concentrate on how the nature of the intervention affects evaluation design. They outline a framework for selecting evaluation approaches for two types of grantmaking programs used to achieve far-reaching impact: models and adaptive initatives. Evaluation that is attuned to the transformations in models and adaptive initiatives will continue to help fuel these two powerful engines of social change.





0

Using Civic Engagement and Collaboration to Create Community Change: Lessons From Charlotte, N.C.

This article examines one community’s effort to use a large-scale civic engagement process to improve the health, safety, and education of children. The findings from this study illustrate important lessons for foundations that are funding and leading cross-sector collaborative efforts – lessons related to the importance of communication and transparency, the need for shared leadership, the limits to voluntary collaboration, and the need for a sustainable structure to maintain the commitment and effort over time.





0

Practice, Practice, Practice: Preliminary Findings From an Evidence-Based Practice Funding Initiative at The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

This article documents the Tower Foundation’s experience funding evidence-based practice (EBP) programs and its work to measure the success of these initiatives. After funding EBPs in five consecutive grant years, it was time to take stock and assess the drivers of program success and failure. Learning from these, the foundation may better understand the demands and expectations that they put on grantees. Looking forward, foundations can assist, as Tower did, with direct support of implementations. They can also do things to make communities more EBP ready and EBPs more generally viable and affordable.





0

Investigating the Roles of Community Foundations in the Establishment and Sustainability of Local College Access Networks in Michigan

This article uses the collective-impact model as a framework to examine the role of community foundations in the creation and establishment of local college access networks across the state of Michigan. The findings illustrate that community foundations have played a variety of roles, from fundraising to convening to cheerleading. The challenge for most communities is how to develop a plan for sustainability while allowing others to provide leadership for these evolving organizations for social change.







0

The Role of the Congregation in Community Service: A Philanthropic Case Study

In this article, an initial evaluation of the Family Leadership Initiative, part of the larger Gatherings of Hope Initiative, a collaboratively designed program to strengthen families and improve children’s education in Grand Rapids, Mich., shows high levels of satisfaction, with students reporting some academic improvements. For the congregations, FLI provided a rare opportunity to collaborate with each other.  





0

Philanthropy in the Faith Community: Mobilizing Faith-Based Organizations for Substance Use Prevention

This reflective practice article examines lessons learned from community-based substance abuse prevention efforts in the faith community and describes how those lessons will shape the work of the Assistance for Substance Abuse Prevention Center. The article also introduces the Faith-Based Prevention Toolkit developed to help members of faith community implement and sustain substance abuse prevention activities in their congregations. The authors hope that other foundations will incorporate the lessons into their work in the faith community.







0

Use of Layering for Effective Partnership Building: Leveraging Positive Impact in Education Philanthropy

This article examines the emerging best practice of layering, a process and strategic alignment of building new, multiple sector partnerships at the local, state, federal and national levels that can expand with federal initiatives. These new opportunities create a challenge of how to maximize mission-related goals while seeking new partnerships.





0

Developing a Master Data Sharing Agreement: Seeking Student-Level Evidence to Support a Collaborative Community Effort in Education

This article discusses how a private foundation, a public school system, and a state university joined forces to address a difficult, long-standing challenge: closing the academic achievement gap between urban and suburban students. The parties worked through multiple challenges and forged a Master Data Sharing Agreement (MDSA) that will facilitate both daily intelligence for program staff and powerful post-hoc research capacity. This MDSA text has been released online under a Creative Commons license (Community Research Institute, 2011a).







0

Next-Generation Philanthropy: Examining a Next-Generation Jewish Philanthropic Network

As a result of mobility, philanthropy among a Millennial group of Jewish donors is becoming divorced from the communities in which their parents live. This group’s members generally perceive themselves as thinking and acting more strategically than past generations. They expect philanthropic organizations to operate with increased transparency, and those entities will need to adapt to these expectations in order to thrive.  









0

What Is a Family Foundation?

This article surveys the different definitions of family foundation that are, and have been, used by key organizations in the field and by researchers. It also reviews examples of the variations and complicating factors that make answering the title question difficult.  







0

Helping Government Agencies Become More Effective and Efficient: Discovering ‘Catalytic Combinations’ in Public Child Welfare Reform

This article describes the work of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Casey Strategic Consulting Group in child and family services systems to improve system performance and outcomes. Called “catalytic combinations,” five types of levers were influenced in different combinations to promote change in several state systems. The initiative produced measurable improvements in key performance areas. The authors postulate that by influencing “levers of change” in combination, one can drive broad improvement in how overall systems operate. Influencing catalytic combinations creates sufficient startup results for improvement to continue over time.





0

Achieving Foundation Accountability and Transparency: Lessons From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Scorecard

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shares what they learned from developing their Scorecard. Comparative and quantitative measures were found to be the most powerful forces to motivate change.





0

Assessing Nonprofit Networks Prior to Funding: Tools for Foundations to Determine Life Cycle Phase and Function

Life cycle analyses tools help determine a nonprofit network’s stage of development and its functional characteristics. The authors suggest that these tools are useful to funders in determining a network’s readiness for funding.





0

Creating and Scaling Innovative School Models Through Strategic Partnerships

This article focuses on the pivotal role of philanthropy within the Texas High School Project, a public-private alliance to support education reform across the state and to maximize the resources of aligned organizations. Two examples show how foundations successfully engaged in the project, recruited other foundations, shared and increased expertise, maximized resources within the alliance, and increased impact to address a complex issue and solution. Also discussed are lessons learned about the foundations engaged with the alliance.





0

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.





0

Expanding Organizational Advocacy Capacity: Reflections From the Field

The California Endowment implemented the Clinic Consortia Policy and Advocacy Program to expand grantee advocacy capacity to support the policy and operational needs of California’s community clinics. Funders of advocacy and policy change initiatives are encouraged to consider the resources needed to build and sustain advocacy capacity, including grantee technical expertise, partnerships with stakeholders, and time required to expand advocacy capacity.





0

Finding the Fix: Embracing Philanthropy’s Role in Transforming an Urban Education Landscape

A new approach to urban education reform requires that funders pool resources under a common agenda to successfully build the conditions to change the landscape for children. This article describes and analyzes this shift in thinking and the change in strategy of education reformers in the city of Detroit.





0

Getting to Results: A Tool and Lessons from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s K-12 Education Portfolio

The Annie E. Casey Foundation developed a exible but rigorous “results framework” tool that helped focus its investments and choose grantees that shared its aims by dening success, specifying results, tracking progress, and aligning its work. The framework includes an understanding of population and program accountability and lays out overarching categories for thinking about results: impact, inuence, and leverage. This paper described how the tool was developed and tested with grantees and shares lessons learned for other philanthropies in the eld of education.







0

The Trenton Afterschool Partnership: Expanding Learning Time Citywide Through Public/Private Collaboration

In 2009, New Jersey After 3 established the state’s rst nonprot after-school system in Trenton, providing high-quality programs in every public K-12 school. This system expanded access for students and improved the quality of programs while reducing the cost. This article reects on establishing such a system, its results, and lessons learned.





0

The Quest for Deeper Learning and Engagement in Advanced High School Courses

This article looks at a new version of the AP U.S. Government and Politics course organized around project cycles designed to help students learn the content with deep understanding that will support transfer to future problems. This research effort represents the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s rst work on one of its primary initiatives: to collaborate with teachers, researchers, and educational leaders in the design and implementation of rigorous, project-centered, yearlong courses and the study of their effects.





0

The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change: Book Review

The Dragonfly Effect identifies a four-step process symbolized by the wings of the dragonfly. The metaphor does a good job of describing how these four major areas must work in tandem to give the lift needed to reach one’s goals via social media.







0

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

To date, there is little evidence that CCIs have been able to achieve population-level change in key outcomes; however, they have built community capacity. 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.





0

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.





0

Promoting Community Leadership Among Community Foundations: The Role of the Social Capital Benchmark Survey

This article examines the Social Capital Benchmark Survey organized by Robert Putnam and Lew Feldstein and funded by 34 community foundations. Six years later, 12 of the community foundations participated in the National Social Capital Learning Circle and reported that the survey results supported their community leadership work.





0

Funding Cultural Adaptations to Promote Effective and Efficient Mental Health Service Provision

The use of evidence-based practices (EBP) – interventions that have documented, scientific evidence about their effectiveness – is increasingly being required in many fields of work, including substance abuse and mental health. There is increasing evidence that different ethnic and cultural groups respond differently to different prevention and treatment interventions. The authors report on a study that demonstrated that EBPs could be adapted in culturally consistent ways.





0

Trends in Global Philanthropy Among U.S. Foundations

In this article, the authors present the data on international grantmaking by foundations in the United States, discuss the factors likely influencing the change, and identify some of the issues inherent in international grantmaking – issues largely ignored despite the dramatic increases in funding.







0

Embedded Foundations: Advancing Community Change and Empowerment

In this article, the authors describe the distinction between embedded funding approaches and other conventional efforts. Then, using the experience extracted from case studies of selected embedded foundation efforts, they delineate several key methods involved and discuss implications for future work.





0

Building the Bridge for Diversity and Inclusion: Testing a Regional Strategy

The creation of effective diverse and inclusive organizations requires leaders to embrace the role of change agent. This is a complex journey that involves leaders experimenting, learning and creating a new way to organize. This article examines the Council of Michigan Foundations’ (CMF) six-year initiative, Transforming Michigan Philanthropy through Diversity and Inclusion (TMP).





0

Who Becomes a Foundation CEO? An Analysis of Hiring Patterns, 2004-2008

This study provides baseline data about the professional and individual characteristics of 440 candidates selected to be the top executive in a grantmaking institution during a five-year study period (2004-2008), and about the hiring patterns of the diverse institutions making these appointments.







0

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.











0

Beyond the Grant: How the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Went Beyond Grantmaking to Contribute to a Major Early Childhood Initiative

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s SPARK initiative sought to link the pre-kindergarten and school worlds as a way to position vulnerable children for greater success in the early grades. The initiative was also the foundation’s first attempt at a large scale initiative with an explicit changemaker role. This article describes the challenges for the foundation of adopting this approach.





0

Constructing Collaborative Success for Network Learning: The Story of the Discovery Community Self-Assessment Tool

This article shares a story of the development and initial use of the Discovery Community Self-Assessment Tool as a process of social construction critical to collective action and a possible indicator of network learning.  





0

Demonstrating the Value of Social Service Programs: A Simplified Approach to Calculating Return on Investment

This article examines a Gates Foundation report on a new Program Return on Investment (PROI) tool described herein simplifies monetizing the value of program outcomes and may be able to serve as a solution for valuation for all human service programs.





0

Enrolling the Eligible: Lessons for Funders

This article examines how The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation implemented Covering Kids & Families to increase enrollment in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. It provides lessons to funders such as, 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.





0

Evaluative Tools for Articulating and Monitoring Foundation Strategy

While foundation leadership and staff value strategy and foundations largely perceive themselves as strategic, they often struggle to articulate, implement, and track strategy. The William Penn Foundation has developed a collection of tools to articulate and assess its progress toward strategic goals.





0

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.      





0

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

This article reports on a 10-year W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded program of local development work in selected geographic areas in Northeast Brazil. The greatest lesson was the fundamental importance of intentional strategies to bring all three sectors together, to attract and facilitate public and private sector involvement in civil society projects for local development and poverty reduction.





0

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.





0

Leadership Development in the Social Sector: A Framework for Supporting Strategic Investments

In this article is a framework for identifying the level of intervention (individual, team, organization, network, or system) and the level of impact (individual, team, organization, community, or field of policy and practice) is proposed as a tool for more strategic investing in leadership development.





0

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 Ball Foundation observed that grantees who had a closer relationship with them were more successful than those who had a more traditional relationship. The adaptive approach they adopted 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.





0

Learning-Circle Partnerships and the Evaluation of a Boundary-Crossing Leadership Initiative in Health

This article discusses learing-circles, a multicultural approach to evaluation that honors different ways of knowing, recognizes that groups have different learning questions, acknowledges and addresses power dynamics that exist between funders and grantees, and ensures that evaluation is culturally relevant and constructive for communities.  





0

Leveraging Social Networks in Direct Services: Are Foundations Doing All They Can?

Services to those living in poverty or suffering from other challenges are increasing provided by highly educated specialists. Although much is known about the importance of social networks, foundations can inadvertently undermine these important. By focusing on building and supporting social networks, foundations can deepen and sustain the impact of their funding.





0

The Real-Time Evaluation Memo: A Tool for Enabling Evaluative Thinking and Learning in Foundations and Nonprofits

This article tells how real-time evaluation memos provide data-based feedback in a timely manner to inform decision making. Memos must be concise and include both data and expert synthesis and interpretation. The foundation must have a learning culture if the memos are to most useful; there must be time to reflect on the content and implications.  





0

The Quest for Quality: Lessons From a Certification Pilot Project for College Access Providers

The Lumina Foundation reports on a pilot test of a certification program for college access services. Funders considering supporting the development of certification of nonprofits should give careful attention to what organization should be the lead and to the scoring rubric. Including representatives of those who will apply for certification is critical.





0

Peer Networking and Community Change: Improving Foundation Practice

This article synthesizes two studies of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s peer-networking efforts. The research indicates that peer networking can have significant impact for communities and in meeting philanthropic goals, but it is costly and must be carefully structured if it is to be successful. The authors identify “time, trust and truth” as the bedrock of successful peer networking.





0

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

This article examines the principles that guided the development of a participatory outcome evaluation framework for the Wachovia Regional Foundation neighborhood revitalization work. 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 interventions.







0

Leveraging Grant-Making—Part 2: Aligning Programmatic Approaches With Complex System Dynamics

This is the second of two articles that focus on tools that enable foundations to increase the leverage of their grantmaking resources by working effectively with the dynamics of complex social systems. It emphasizes that “powerful questions” addressed to board, staff, grantees and other stakeholders can help transform thinking. It examines how foundations can align planning, implementation, and evaluation efforts with the behavior of the social systems they seek to improve.





0

Leveraging Grantmaking: Understanding the Dynamics of Complex Social Systems

The purpose of this article is to enable foundations to increase leverage of their grant-making resources by working with the dynamics of complex social systems. The article explains why good intentions can lead to less than desirable results, distinguishes systems thinking from more familiar linear approaches, and explains how systems analysis can redirect our focus from addressing problem symptoms to dealing with underlying causes of these problems.





0

A Model for Multilevel Advocacy Evaluation

The Colorado Trust has provided three years of general operating support to nine advocacy organizations working to increase access to health through policy change work. The Colorado Trust has worked with Innovation Network to design an evaluation that 1) builds grantees’ capacity to evaluate their work and incorporate real-time feedback into their strategies; 2) monitors the progress of each grantee toward its unique policy goals; and 3) assesses growth in capacity of the health advocacy community in Colorado as a whole.