Danielle Vance-McMullen's blog

Inside and Outside Knowledge

February 28, 2014

What does it take to develop a clear foundation strategy?  After observing over a dozen FIRG presentations, I think I have finally put my finger on at least part of the answer: inside and outside knowledge.


At this month’s FIRG presentation, Chris Stone, head of the Open Society Foundations, talked about what is necessary for policy change. He described a two-pronged strategy – a strategy to create allies within the government and other elite circles and a second strategy to build a mass of external grassroots supporters who know how to mount a popular movement.


How Does Competition Affect Grantmaking, and What Can be Done?

February 11, 2014

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.

Social Impact Bonds: Do Benefits Outweigh the Drawbacks?

December 13, 2013

Through some combination of interest and luck, I have been listening to a lot of discussion of Social Impact Bonds, which are also known as Pay for Success programs, recently (see below for sources/more information).  Social Impact Bonds are a form of nonprofit financing where a group of investors fund a nonprofit program which then reduces future government costs.  When the nonprofit succeeds, the government repays investors under the terms of a pre-negotiated contract.

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