Cross-post: Engaging Boards and Trustees in Strategic Learning

  • By Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, February 5, 2019

From FSG and GEO

This post, which originally appeared on the FSG website, introduces the latest toolkit from FSG and GEO, “Engaging Boards and Trustees in Strategic Learning.” To read the complete post, please visit FSG’s website.

Nearly a decade ago, FSG published What’s the Difference: How Foundation Trustees View Evaluation, exploring how boards and trustees were thinking about evaluation, and providing tools for foundation leaders and staff to help their boards better understand evaluation in the context of grantmaking for social change.

It’s stating the obvious to say that much has changed since then; the world is increasingly complex, with rapidly changing political and technological environments. Since adopting an adaptive approach and a learning orientation are requirements in today’s world, grantmakers and evaluators are paying increased attention to assessing the impact of their grantmaking.

Engaging Boards and Trustees in Strategic Learning, a new toolkit from FSG and GEO, provides a fresh set of resources for grantmaker CEOs, evaluation staff, and senior leaders to engage their boards and trustees in conversations about strategic learning. Central to this work is the belief that practicing strategic learning is critical to a foundation as it strives to achieve progress on its goals.

In creating this toolkit, FSG and GEO talked to 21 evaluation experts, foundation leaders, and board members, and consulted with an Advisory Group made up of 12 foundation CEOS, senior level staff, and evaluation directors who provided insightful feedback and thought partnership. Our conversations with these experts in the field surfaced 6 “action imperatives” that call for boards’ participation in conversations and activities related to strategic learning.

Head over to the FSG website to continue reading and be sure to check out the executive summary and full publication.