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780 Results

  • A Transformational Approach to Grantmaking

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Elevate Energy seized this unique opportunity to grow from an organization that focuses on program implementation to an organization that uses its on-the-ground, practical experience to help influence and inform energy policy in partnership with other leaders. Publication date: December 19, 2017

    Elevate Energy – a Chicago-based community development agency that helps people do more with less energy – participated in a funding opportunity that enabled them to think transformationally about how to achieve their mission. By providing multi-year, unrestricted grant support, the Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers Fund helped the organization develop the evidence and business case to dramatically increase clean energy investments in low-income communities. The Fund is an innovative approach to grantmaking that pushes organizations to transform the world by first transforming themselves. Elevate Energy seized this unique opportunity to grow from an organization that focuses on program implementation to an organization that uses its on-the-ground, practical experience to help influence and inform energy policy in partnership with other leaders. 

    In other words, the Community Progress Makers Fund helped them move from being a “doer” to being an “influencer.” Many of their nonprofit peers could likewise benefit from this kind of funding model and they urge other foundations to consider similar approaches.

    ​Anne Evens

    Chief Executive Officer

    Elevate Energy

  • Journalism and Media Grantmaking: Five Things You Need to Know and Five Ways to Get Started

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    This booklet is a starter guide for foundations interested in exploring how to make impactful journalism and community-information grants. Publication date: March 2018

    This booklet is a starter guide for foundations interested in exploring how to make impactful journalism and community-information grants.

  • Creating a Data Culture

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    How nonprofit organizations can do a better job with their data. Publication date: March 2, 2018

    While 75 percent of nonprofits collect data, only 6 percent feel they are using it effectively.... Although many organizations don’t feel like their organizations are making good use of their data, creating a data culture is critical to their success. Actively and consistently using data to inform decisions allows nonprofits to track whether their programs are resulting in the outcomes they intend.

    Kathleen Kelly Janus

    Lecturer

    Stanford Program on Social Entrepreneurship

  • Too Many Foundation Boards Are Failing at Diversity

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Forty percent of foundation boards for which BoardSource gathered data reported they are all white. Excluding family foundations, 35 percent of the boards have no members who are people of color. Publication date: March 5, 2018

    Forty percent of foundation boards for which BoardSource gathered data reported they are all white. Excluding family foundations, 35 percent of the boards have no members who are people of color.

    People who bring a range of backgrounds — including race but also extending to many other elements including disability, socio-economic history, and life experience — are better positioned to help a foundation choose goals and chart the strategies to achieve them.

    So it’s about effectiveness. If you doubt that, see, for example, this short summary of a number of research studies linking diversity to performance.

    Phil Buchanan

    President

    Center for Effective Philanthropy

  • Essential Responsibilities of Foundation Governance

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Governance matters across sectors, of course. But within the nonprofit sector, foundation governance is especially crucial. Publication date: March 1, 2018

    Governance matters across sectors, of course. But within the nonprofit sector, foundation governance is especially crucial.

    Every board should annually and in some formal way assess its CEO against mutually agreed-upon goals. There’s no excuse for not doing so. Foundation CEOs whose boards haven’t initiated a conversation about the process should take the initiative to do so themselves — proposing a process that includes a range of relevant qualitative and quantitative data and allows for direct and unfiltered feedback from staff and other key constituents to the board.

    Phil Buchanan

    President

    Center for Effective Philanthropy

  • Foundation Board Leadership: A Closer Look at Foundation Board Responses to Leading with Intent 2017

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    In an effort to better understand the particular dynamics of foundation boards, BoardSource took a closer look at the subset of responses from the 141 foundation leaders who completed the 2017 Leading with Intent survey. While the sample of foundation responses is relatively small and a convenience versus representative or randomized sample, we believe the report provides insight that may be applicable to the foundation community more broadly. Publication date: February 2018

    In an effort to better understand the particular dynamics of foundation boards, BoardSource took a closer look at the subset of responses from the 141 foundation leaders who completed the 2017 Leading with Intent survey. While the sample of foundation responses is relatively small and a convenience versus representative or randomized sample, we believe the report provides insight that may be applicable to the foundation community more broadly.

    Key findings:

    • When it comes to the board’s perceived impact on foundation performance, there are three board characteristics that may matter most: 1) providing guidance and support to the chief executive, 2) the board’s understanding of its roles and responsibilities, and 3) the extent to which the board is adaptable in the face of changes in the environment.
    • Foundation boards lack racial and ethnic diversity in profound ways — and current recruitment practices demonstrate that is unlikely to change.
    • Foundation boards that assess their own performance regularly report stronger board performance, but too few foundation boards have adopted this recommended practice.
  • 5 Manifestations of Delusional Altruism

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Funders may think they’re doing things right when they are, in fact, employing policies or practices that unintentionally cause unpleasant consequences for themselves and those they serve—and sometimes even cause more harm than good. This is...delusional altruism. Although delusional altruism is rarely intentional, it is pervasive, and its manifestations among funders can be difficult to recognize. Publication date: February 28, 2018

    Funders may think they’re doing things right when they are, in fact, employing policies or practices that unintentionally cause unpleasant consequences for themselves and those they serve—and sometimes even cause more harm than good. This is...delusional altruism.

    Although delusional altruism is rarely intentional, it is pervasive, and its manifestations among funders can be difficult to recognize. 

    Kris Putnam-Walkerly

    President

    Putnam Consulting Group

  • A Model of Competency

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    A competency model paints a picture for what it looks like to be great in your role, and provides a roadmap to get there. By reviewing the competency categories, performance indicators, and knowledge needed, you can easily assess yourself and identify areas you would like to learn more about or gain proficiency in. Publication date: February 22, 2018

    A competency model paints a picture for what it looks like to be great in your role, and provides a roadmap to get there. By reviewing the competency categories, performance indicators, and knowledge needed, you can easily assess yourself and identify areas you would like to learn more about or gain proficiency in.

    Liz Bicer

    Education Director

    PEAK Grantmaking

  • Streamlining Plus: Empathy, Communication, and Flexibility When Things Go Wrong

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    What may feel to a funder like “just business” can feel to the grantee like a striking lack of empathy – not to mention a devastating loss of funding. It takes communication and the human touch to bridge this gap. Publication date: February 22, 2018

    What may feel to a funder like “just business” can feel to the grantee like a striking lack of empathy – not to mention a devastating loss of funding. It takes communication and the human touch to bridge this gap.

    Jessica Bearman

    Principal

    Bearman Consulting

    JESSICA BEARMAN (Bearman Consulting) works with foundations and other mission-based organizations, focusing on organization development, facilitation, planning, and project R&D to help them become more intentional, effective, and responsive to communities. 

    Jessica has been the lead consultant to PEAK Grantmaking’s Project Streamline since its inception, helping grantmakers to understand and minimize the burden of their application and reporting practices.Prior to her work in philanthropy, Jessica spent nine years in the nonprofit sector, where she experienced plenty of mystifying requirements. She has a Masters in Organization Development from American University/National Training Laboratory. Jessica loves living on an organic farm in Idaho with her husband, two wild boys, forty philosophical chickens, and thousands of industrious bees.

  • The Global Landscape of Philanthropy

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    From a description of various forms of individual giving to the growing importance of community philanthropy and structured, institutional giving, the current report is an effort to bring back the diversity of the field of philanthropy at the center of the debate, by drawing a comprehensive and provocative picture of current trends and challenges of the field. The report also raises some of the questions and issues most critical and central to its development – from technology and shrinking civic space to power dynamics within philanthropy practice and concepts, to the evolving role and form of philanthropy infrastructure. Publication date: January 2018

    From a description of various forms of individual giving to the growing importance of community philanthropy and structured, institutional giving, the current report is an effort to bring back the diversity of the field of philanthropy at the center of the debate, by drawing a comprehensive and provocative picture of current trends and challenges of the field. The report also raises some of the questions and issues most critical and central to its development – from technology and shrinking civic space to power dynamics within philanthropy practice and concepts, to the evolving role and form of philanthropy infrastructure.

    From Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support