Guests at our January 25 Foundation Impact Research Group seminar were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at 100&Change, a project of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to award a $100 million grant to a single organization or collaboration tackling one of the world’s most challenging problems.
Evaluation & Metrics
Research on time-limited philanthropy used to be scarce, but it’s expanding fast. Foundation Center has just scanned the intellectual landscape, and the results are intriguing.
Foundations hold troves of important research and evaluations. But how do they decide what parts of this to publicize, how, and for what audiences?
This is the little italicized thingy at the beginning.
Last semester’s talk by John Ettinger, about foundations’ efforts to network their grantees, continues to draw a lot of thoughtful reaction. This guest post comes from an expert on the topic, Marty Kearns of Netcentric Campaigns.
The Beldon Fund, which closed in 2009, set aside money for an evaluation to be written five years later. The report is in, and there’s a lot to be learned from hindsight.
Several speakers at the Foundation Impact Research Group (FIRG) have observed, at least in passing, that competition among grantees for foundation grant dollars is increasing. But what are competition’s implications for foundations and grantees? At this fall’s conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations (ARNOVA), researchers presented new work that helps illuminate this question.
You need to be more than a bit interested in foundations to make it all the way through the new president’s letter from the F. B. Heron Foundation. (That’s not just our opinion. Heron President Clara Miller accompanied the letter with “a bit of a warning”: most of her message would be “pretty nerdy.”) But if you are at all interested in how foundations are focused, steered, and managed, you’ll want to read every word. This is not your usual president’s letter.
Philanthropy tends to pride itself – not always accurately – on being society’s big risk-taker. Whenever I hear the claim, I find myself asking (silently): Is that true? What’s more, is it even desirable?
Robert Gallucci, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of America’s ten largest by asset size, posed those questions out loud at a recent session of the Sanford School’s Foundation Impact Research Group. Here’s what he said, in part:
It’s precious rare, in grantmaking circles, to hear anyone admit to carrying on philanthropy that isn’t strategic — much less to boast of it. Here at the Center, where Strategic Philanthropy is part of our name, we obviously try to encourage that aspiration as much as possible, even as we realize that (a) many foundations aren’t nearly as strategic as they want to be, and (b) strategy, by itself, isn’t the answer to everything. At a recent meeting of the Center’s Foundation Impact Research Group, Robert Gallucci, president of the John D. and Catherine T.