How the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, which has been addressing the needs of low-income neighborhoods in New Jersey, Delaware and eastern Pennsylvania for nearly a decade, is using evaluation to help grantees grow their impact and to change the way community development funding operates.
How the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, which has supported the communities of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, and Hendry counties for nearly four decades, creates meaningful and progressive change through a collaboration and engagement model called Tribal Alchemy.
In this issue of GEOAsks we talk to Anne Sherman, vice president of nonprofit strategy at Growth Philanthropy Network to learn more about their funder Working Groups and the challenges and opportunities that come with working collaboratively.
Chicago foundation provides multiyear operating grants to core grantees, plus a range of focused capacity-building support.
The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, a family foundation working to improve the lives of young people in Western New York and Eastern Massachusetts, is reaping the benefits of creating deep relationships with community members.
In this issue of GEOAsks we talk to Rajasvini Bhansali, executive director of IDEX, to learn about the collaborative process the foundation underwent to develop a new theory of change. Bhansali also shares how the foundation has embraced collaborative learning in every aspect of its work, from learning exchanges to the development of global alliances.
Living Cities, a collaborative of 22 foundations and financial institutions working to improve the lives of low-income people and the cities in which they live, is open sourcing social change by sharing what they are learning through grants, investments, research, and convenings in real time and connecting leaders working to solve similar problems.
Grantmaker works to address complex social issues by employing network officers to build connections and relationships between grantees.
Community foundation helps grantees build capacity for evaluation by holding regular trainings and seminars to learn from experts in the field and each other.
Grantmakers around the country use learning and evaluation to inform their strategies and help grantees grow their impact.
Illinois grantmaker embraces capacity building as a priority and supports a new networking initiative for nonprofits in the region.
Grantmaker works with partners to strengthen leadership for the social sector in two counties in California.
Regional funder in the South adopts network-focused approach to grantmaking.
Foundation launches new initiative to support and encourage collaborative approaches to community problem solving.
Foundation joins with other grantmakers to unite and support the next generation of philanthropic leaders.
Washington, D.C. grantmaker combines large, multiyear investments in youth-serving organizations with consulting and other support.
Arkansas grantmaker supports nonprofit networks to promote field wide learning.
Foundation embraces community engagement, mobilizes residents and grantees to help make mini-grant decisions.
Florida foundation with unfettered charter focuses on how best to support partnerships and collaboration among nonprofits and other organizations.
Place-based funder invests in range of organizational effectiveness programs, including deep, cohort-based capacity building for core grantees.
Seattle-based grantmaker builds regional networks of organizations working to engage low-income families as advocates for change.
Local liaisons help Connecticut grantmaker stay connected to communities involved in statewide grantmaking initiative.
Vermont foundation adopts high-engagement approach to supporting cities and towns to design a brighter future.
Denver-area United Way embraces need to strengthen the capacity of organizations and communities to measure impact and learn from results.
Grantmaker builds on longtime focus on evaluation by making organizational learning a priority.
Los Angeles grantmaker supports local nonprofit leaders through sabbaticals, fellowships, mentorships and more.
Southern California grantmaker makes the switch to core support for majority of grants.
Growing health foundation embraces multiyear funding and streamlined application and reporting in effort to expand impact.
Family foundation advances the cause of evaluative thinking among nonprofits through support for capacity building and knowledge sharing.
Small funder seeks to maximize impact by providing eight years of general operating support, plus other capacity-building resources, for small organizations focused on youth-led social change.
Design Thinking is a concept that has garnered attention in recent years as a potential problem-solving technique for the social sector. In this issue of GEOAsks, we hear from Arti Freeman of Ontario Trillium Foundation who sheds some light on what design thinking looks like in practice and how the foundation has used it to engage stakeholders in co-designing solutions. She also describes some design thinking “Dos and Don’ts” that she’s learned from experience, and shares where grantmakers can go to learn more.
In this story, we share how the Massachusetts Cultural Council is strengthening the cultural sector in Massachusetts through its Cultural Investment Portfolio, specifically by:
- Instituting a formula funding model that increased transparency
- Establishing a site visit protocol that built stronger relationships
- Replacing written reports with the Cultural Data Project
In this story, we share how United Way of Winnipeg is using a community indicator system, Peg, to get a better picture of the city’s well-being year over year – and the crucial role of community collaboration.
Ohio grantmaker using cigarette-tax funds to invest in arts and culture makes general operating support a priority.
Grantmaker focused on education for Jewish young people embraces multiyear grants, funder collaboration as priorities.
Aiming to build a national movement, funder focused on oral health supports learning communities of grantees.
Global NGO develops tools to track grantee progress and its own performance.
Grantmaker refines evaluation model to enhance grantee and organizational accountability, while positioning it to inform and support decision-making.
For this story, we spoke with Adin Miller of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties about how the federation is helping to lead by example in taking innovative approaches to its giving, fundraising, and community engagement activities.
For this Member Story, we spoke with Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, about the foundation's approach to building connections and strengthening networks.
In the December Member Story, read how the Butler Family Fund, a small foundation, is making great use of its ability to be a nimble connector, incubator and collaborator.
In our November Member Story, read how The SCAN Foundation is working at the forefront of preparing nonprofits for the shifts in the health care system to make the most of these new opportunities.
NonprofitNext is a valuable resource for more than 1,500 nonprofit users, but ask the New Hampshire Charitable foundation about its significance, and you’ll find that it’s about more than just getting valuable resources to nonprofits; it’s about innovating, taking smart risks, and collaborating with the private sector.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is connecting and equipping thousands of peopletrying to make a difference — including the employees of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina —and investing in crucial training for not only grantees but those outside their focus areas as well
Houston Arts Alliance is on a mission, taking creative approaches to ensure its grantees have the internal strength and capacity to persist in offering valuable services to Houston.
Interview with Sidney Hargro, Community Foundation of South Jersey, on building nonprofit capacity for resilience and learning.
GEO’s recently released publication, “Smarter Relationships, Better Results,” explores the dynamic between grantmakers and regranting intermediary organizations and how grantmakers can make the most of their relationships with intermediary partners. In this issue of GEOASKS we talk to Berta Colón and Michele Lord of Public Interest Projects, an intermediary organization that focuses on social justice work. Colón and Lord give us a look into PIP’s long history as an intermediary organization and provide insight into what they’ve learned about what a strong and effective grantmaker-intermediary relationship looks like.
In 2013, the Bush Foundation is starting two exciting programs to support effective community problem-solving: Community Innovation Grants and The Bush Prize. Read about them in the July Member Spotlight.
Member spotlight featuring Reeta Roy, president and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation
In this month's member spotlight, we feature the Fleishhacker Foundation, a funder focused on the arts and pre-collegiate education in the San Francisco Bay area.
In this month's member spotlight, we feature the Fairfield County Community Foundation, which has a new report out about nonprofit mergers and collaborations. We spoke with foundation staff Karen Brown and Elaine Mintz about how some of these efforts have led to grantees having a greater impact in the region.
While in the process of a spend-down by January 2020, the AVI CHAI Foundation is establishing a legacy of impact and lessons for the broader grantmaker community.For the March 2013 member spotlight we spoke with Yossi Prager, executive director of AVI CHAI North America.
For this Member Spotlight we spoke with Eileen Coogan Boyle, president and CEO of Allegany Franciscan Ministries, along with the organization's three regional vice presidents.This member spotlight focuses on three portions of the organization's work: the Journey to Unlock Management Potential (JUMP) Capacity Building Initiative, the use of evaluation for learning and a recent project to engage youth in philanthropy. +more
This edition of GEOASKS, from the fall 2013 issue of IMPACT, features an interview with Vic De Luca of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation.
This is a member spotlight from the January 2013 edition GEONews featuring Siebert Lutheran Foundation and its president, Ron Jones
December 2012 Member Spotlight for GEONews with Victoria Dunning, Vice President of Programs at Global Fund for Children
GEONews November 2012 Member Spotlight GKFF
With the purpose of building a community of support for local youth to be empowered and attain college degrees and jobs, a coalition of Richmond, Va.’s community leaders began to come together from across the nonprofit, public and private sectors in April 2009. Among these organizations was the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation.In this month’s Member Spotlight, GEO spoke with the foundation’s executive director, Amy Nisenson.
Interview with Kristy Trautmann and Anne Mulgrave of FISA Foundation for September GEONews
Member Spotlight piece with Chuck Harris of Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
In this issue of GEO ASKS, GEO speaks with Rebekah Levin, evaluation director for McCormick Foundation. McCormick Foundation’s efforts towards integrating evaluation in their work began a little over two years ago with a six-month strategic planning process during which they assessed all of their programs and operations. At the close of this process, the foundation decided that in order to increase impact it was necessary to make evaluation and learning a major driver of their work. At this point, Levin was hired to guide the foundation through this transition. A year and a half later, Levin gives us insights on the crucial changes the foundation has instituted and the challenges they’ve confronted as they continue to build evaluation capacity at all levels of the foundation and within grantee organizations.
July 2012 Member Spotlight for GEONews with Dr. Thomas Peters, President and CEO of Marin Community Foundation
Interview with Ludovic Blain, director of the Color of Democracy Fund for June 2012 GEONews Member Spotlight
GEONews 2012 May member spotlight with Otto Bremer Foundation's Randi Ilyse Roth
An interview with Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBoom!
Member spotlight featuring Michael Brown, VP of Community Leadership for The Seattle Foundation
Member spotlight featuring Caitlin Stanton, Senior Program Officer for the Global Fund for Women.
Building a statewide network of grantmakers committed to engaging their own communities is no simple task — but it’s definitely possible. Just ask Grand Victoria Foundation.In this month’s member spotlight we spoke with Nancy Fishman, executive director of Grand Victoria Foundation, about the foundation’s work brining the Illinois’ grantmaking community together and then repeating the task with the state’s land conservation community.
Focus and Vision: A Corporate PerspectiveHow the New York Life Foundation is pioneering efforts to provide support for grieving children
In this issue of GEO ASKS we talk to author, speaker and public interest communications consultant, Andy Goodman about how the brain processes information. Knowing whether your audience is receiving information in “filter mode” or “computer mode” can have a significant impact on the way you present your story and that of your grantees. Goodman discusses how to tell a story that will reach your audience, whether they are beneficiaries, board members, member of the public or peers in the field. Andy Goodman will give a Short Talk at GEO's National Conference on Tuesday afternoon.
In this month’s Member Spotlight, we spoke with Sandy Houston, president and CEO of the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, an organization whose grantmaking has encouraged significant innovation from grantees. In the interview, Mr. Houston shares advice on how to encourage grantees to take risks, how to assess innovative grantees, how to cope with the possibility of failure and how to build networks to make grantees more effective. Also, don't miss "4 Suggestions for Fostering Leaders."
Member Spotlight Imagine if your goal was to create lasting change on an entire variety of issues around the world -- and you only had nine years left to do it. In this month's Member Spotlight we speak with John A. Healy, Director of Impact Assessment and Global Learning at The Atlantic Philanthropies, a foundation that intends to spend down its entire endowment by 2020. In this brief interview, Mr. Healy shares his unique insight into what it means to be a grantmaker that encourages learning and successful evaluation with grantees around the globe.
What happens when a grantmaker decides to loosen the reins of control to build collaborative networks? How can grantmakers remain strategic and focused while building partnerships? Following GEO’s Growing Social Impact in a Networked World conference in San Francisco, we spoke with Mary Manuel, managing director of the McKay Foundation. In a brief Q&A with GEO, Mary shared with us her generous insight and advice on working with a network mindset by drawing on her experiences with the McKay Foundation’s expanding efforts with catalyzing networks.
Founded in 2005 after the successful public offering of Zumiez, the action sports apparel and equipment retailer, the Campion Foundation has focused their grantmaking on two programmatic areas: protecting wilderness in Northwest North America and ending homelessness in the state of Washington. The Foundation believes that, as well as being good business practice, they have a fiscal responsibility as a tax exempt organization to leverage maximum impact from every dollar granted by investing in highly functioning, efficient organizations. Therefore, capacity building has always been a third area of focus as a way to help the foundation and their grantees achieve better results. Over the past few years, the Campion Foundation launched a professional development grant program and broadened their capacity building program to include strengthening the nonprofit ecosystem all in an effort to support their grantees and help them achieve the best results.
Collaboration is an important component of learning, growing and making an impact in the philanthropic field. Sharing experiences and expertise allows for collective knowledge among foundations, which results in smarter choices and better results. As discussed at The Learning Conference 2011, this collective intelligence can enable funders to better support grantees. However, at the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund, another level of networked intelligence is being employed: a network among their grantees to enhance practice on the ground.
Sustainability is essential when considering the effectiveness and long-term strength of a nonprofit. Particularly in today’s technology-driven world, the demands of staying savvy and well informed are quite high to remain both competitive and relevant. When grantmakers improve the internal skills of their grantees, especially by sharing knowledge of current trends, they ensure that their grantees remain on the cutting edge and are better equipped to face future challenges.
Engaging with key stakeholders is essential for grantmakers to understand where charitable dollars should go and whether or not the outcome of a project will benefit the communities or causes we care about most. Often key stakeholders are not fully considered when pursuing a project, but sometimes stakeholders can drive the change they hope to see. For community foundations in particular, reaching out to residents for input on future developments is practical and quite intuitive. The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham saw the opportunity to advance the community by asking for ideas not only from the residents, but also from others on an international level.
An important element of grantmaker transparency is openly sharing results and making a strong commitment to learn from an assessment’s findings. Putting longstanding evaluation systems in place can give a clear sense of an organization’s successes, challenges and role in its community over a span of years. This comparative data helps to derive a better understanding of what works, why it works and how to move forward, creating greater impact and allowing for continuous improvement through time. Click here to learn more about The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts' latest report, documenting an evaluation of their first ten years.
When considering the health needs of a state as large and diverse as New York, narrowing in on the most important issues can be quite a daunting task. Rather than trying to fund as many causes as possible while yielding little results, the New York State Health Foundation has begun to make more strategic choices in their funding, both for greater impact and for reaching their broad base of beneficiaries.
Spring 2011 issue of Impact. GEO ASKS Ken Saxon of Courage to Lead about inner leadership development.
Recently, the idea of scale has been the source of many questions for grantmakers and grantees alike. To better work through these questions together, the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation met with their education grantees to discuss the many factors involved when considering scalability. The convening resulted in a new report, "Building to Scale: Best Practices for Using Evaluation to Improve Programs and Increase Impact," which provides ideas and advice to nonprofits as they work to quantify their impact, the success of their programs and the reach of their services.
February 2011 GEONews Member Spotlight on The Weingart Foundation's stakeholder engagement in their internal evaluation methods.
This is the member spotlight feature for our January 2011 issue of GEONews. The member is Cherokee Preservation Foundation and highlights their work in capacity building and collaboration in the economic crisis.
GEO Asks The Boston Foundation for Fall 2010 issue of IMPACT.
GEONews profile of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund's latest publication about their organizational values
GEONews profile for October 2010 issue, featuring Lancaster County Community Foundation
GEO Asks for Summer 2010 IMPACT; GEO interviews the Firelight Foundation
GEONews profile for August 2010 issue; spotlight on Blue Shield of California Foundation
Profile of the Maine Health Access Foundation for July 2010's issue of GEONews.
GEO Asks interviews Lesley Grady of The Community for Greater Atlanta for Spring 2010 IMPACT.
In this month’s GEO ASKS, we talk about coaching with Janine Mason, executive director of the Fieldstone Foundation. The foundation focuses on humanitarian issues, community and education, culture and arts, and Christian Ministries. It invests in organizations serving the communities where the Fieldstone homebuilding companies do business: Southern California, Salt Lake City and San Antonio. With a deep commitment to convening, collaboration and community building – as well as leadership development – the Fieldstone Foundation delivers support through financial grants and leadership training programs for nonprofit executives and staff.
In this month’s GEO ASKS, we talk about evaluation with Mark Keane, strategy and organizational development executive at The Atlantic Philanthropies. The Atlantic Philanthropies focuses its grantmaking on the issues of ageing, children and youth, population health, and reconciliation and human rights.
In this reprint of GEO ASKS, GEO speaks with Dev Patnaik, founder and principal of Jump Associates, a growth strategy firm. Jump Associates helps “courageous leaders create new businesses and reinvent existing ones through a hybrid approach integrating empathy, creativity and strategy.” Mr. Patnaik is an advisor to such major corporations as Hewlett-Packard, Target, Nike and GE.
This month’s GEO ASKS focuses on the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. The foundation supports organizations and networks in the southeastern U.S. that are working to help people and places move out of poverty and achieve greater social and economic justice.
Focuses on the F.B. Heron Foundation. Founded in 1992, the foundation supports organizations that help people and communities to help themselves, especially those with a track record of building and preserving wealth within low-income communities. The foundation provides grants to and investments in community-based organizations that promote home ownership, enterprise development and access to capital for low-income families in urban and rural communities in the U.S.
This month’s GEO ASKS focuses on the Season’s Fund for Social Transformation. Founded in 2007, the Fund is a collaborative effort led by several private foundations that mobilizes resources, makes grants and supports learning activities to strengthen the connections between personal and social transformation. The Seasons Fund grantmakers believe that cultivating a leader’s rich inner life is both a worthy goal in itself and an effective strategy to strengthen social change initiatives. In 2009, the Seasons Fund granted its first Transformative Leadership Awards (of $30,000 each) to recognize six leadership teams for their work in defining the emerging field of social transformation and developing new models of leadership.
This month’s GEO ASKS focuses on The Skillman Foundation’s Good Neighborhoods program. Launched in January 2006, the program will direct $100 million in support over 10 years to six De-troit neighborhoods where more than 65,000 children live … half in poverty. The program encou-rages the creation of safe, healthy and vibrant neighborhoods where children – with support of caring adults, programs and experiences – can develop fully. The Skillman Foundation is in the fourth year of its 10 year commitment.
Q&A with Kevin L. Jenkins from Neighbor-AID Fund, an initiative of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The United Way of Allegheny County. Neighbor-AID supports nonprofit organizations that are struggling to meet the surge in demand from the community as a result of the economic crisis. Kevin L. Jenkins, director of community initiatives at The Pittsburgh Foundation, tells us how past experience, a collaborative approach among all stakeholders and the use of technology is helping Neighbor-AID channel aid where it is required, fast.