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Practicing Transparency for Discovery and Learning

Transparency is as much about discovery as disclosure. That’s because the discovery process is how we determine: what we know what we don’t know where we stand what boundaries, if any, exist for a specific topic. Discovery can be a humbling and inspiring experience. Learning is the payoff for investing.





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Sharing What Matters: Foundation Transparency

CEP analyzed survey data from 145 foundation CEOs and more than 15,000 grantees and systematically reviewed more than 70 foundation websites. This report reveals that funders see grantees as the primary audiences for their transparency efforts, and both foundations and grantees believe transparency about the substance of foundation work, rather than about financial disclosures or governance, matters most to effectiveness.





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When is transparency a really bad idea?

Fashions in philanthropy can be every bit as startling as the catwalk: evaluation methods and grantmaking approaches change as fast as hemlines. But one fashion that is probably here to stay (a bit like men’s suits) is transparency, which makes it worth taking a longer look at. Transparency for funders is a helpful idea, but it’s not a panacea. If private foundations and grantmakers think it is, then their attempts to bring a measure of sunlight to a sector shrouded in mist are likely to fail or, much worse, do damage. We need to recognize that glass-pocket principles need to be Read more





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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.  





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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.