Posts tagged to 'Measuring impact'

Four ways family philanthropies can support social movements

Posted by Derrick Feldmann on March 29, 2016

Social movements are at the core of who we are as a society. People participate in these social movements because those who can’t stand up for themselves need the voice of strangers to be there for them. It’s the real reason most of us get behind a cause – an inspirational story, a symbol or a vision inspired us.

Generations Together: Tools for teaching the next generation to give

Posted by Virginia Esposito on March 1, 2016

According to the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s recent 2015 Trends Study, nearly 3 in 5 U.S. family foundations engage younger family members in the foundation — and more than 40% say they expect to add to or increase the number of younger-generation family members on their boards in just the next four years. This is an encouraging trend — especially for those of us who believe that these important institutions can have a much greater impact if they can keep the family productively engaged in their work.

The best mistake we ever made: Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

Posted by Kathleen Odne , Karen Green and Jenifer Getz on October 28, 2015

A sure-fire indicator that we all make mistakes was the capacity crowd at the National Forum on Family Philanthropy workshop in Seattle entitled, “The Best Mistakes We Ever Made.” Using a rapid-fire format, each of ten speakers took three minutes to share a mistake they made in their family philanthropy experience. To set the context, each speaker explained the goal and framework by responding to, “What were you trying to do”? Next they explained, “What happened that was unexpected – in other words, what went wrong?” Finally, and most importantly, we asked the mistake-makers to share, “What did you learn from your mistake?” In other words, how did the foundation changes its practices as a result?

What are some tips for creating virtual site visits?

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly on September 24, 2015

This month we are pleased to feature philanthropy expert, speaker, and advisor, Karen Putnam Walkerly's 8 handy tips for creating effective and meaningful virtual site visits.

Learning together with the Hilton Foundation

Posted by Heather Peeler on August 25, 2015

Have you ever been the one tasked with making the plans for a vacation with a large group of people? If so, you know what it is like to juggle many different schedules, preferences and opinions. However, when everyone puts the time and work in and shares the responsibility, it can be a wonderful experience. Coming together to accomplish something results in greater payoff than going at it solo. For the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the process of intentionally fostering learning with other organizations is paramount in its grantmaking for just this reason.

Thinking differently about assessment

Posted by David Grant on June 25, 2015

This may seem counter-intuitive if you think the purpose of assessment is to judge work that has already happened. But what if assessment's primary purpose was to shape and improve work that hasn’t happened yet? In this month's feature article, David Grant, author of The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations, shares four key themes from this new guide for foundations and other mission-driven organizations, and tips and guidance for family foundation boards interested in assessing their own performance.

10 general guidelines for greater foundation transparency

Posted by Rick Cohen on December 15, 2014

Given the immense diversity of foundations, it is a challenge to talk about any aspect of foundation behavior that goes beyond the minimum required in law and public policy to reach prescriptions for the behavior of foundations across the board. In truth, when discussions occur around issues of accountability, transparency, and disclosure, despite some 100,000 extant foundations, the conversation is implicitly about the larger, higher profile foundations, omitting scads of less visible philanthropic entities that in many communities constitute the philanthropic arena.

Increasing impact, while honoring donor intent: A Profile of the Hattie M. Strong Foundation

Posted by Darlene Siska on July 29, 2014

How does a foundation that prides itself on close personal contact with its beneficiaries over an 86-year history totally revamp, modernize, and streamline itself, all without losing its long-time connection with grantees and without losing sight of the founder’s original vision?...

How can my family foundation use data visualization to better tell our story?

Posted by Ann K. Emery on February 15, 2014

Memos and metrics, emails and texts, newsletters and reports: Is your organization suffering from information overload? We consume 34 gigabytes, or 100,500 words, of information every day. Our brains are overwhelmed and struggling to keep up. Data visualization–or dataviz–is one of the strongest...

Can a small organization have a big impact?

Posted by Emily Tow Jackson on April 15, 2013

I get asked this question often.  How can a small foundation with few staff really catalyze large scale social change?  In fact, how can a foundation of any size play this role?  At The Tow Foundation, we have attempted to play a significant role in juvenile justice reform, an issue that seems like an...

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