Editor's Note: Our thanks to the Fund for Shared Insight for supporting NCFP's work in the area of transparency and family philanthropy.


Overview

Listen for Good (L4G) is an initiative dedicated to building the practice of listening to the people we seek to help. We invite nonprofits and funders to join us in exploring a simple but systematic and rigorous way of getting feedback from the people at the heart of our work. Listen for Good is focused on applying a semi-­‐standard survey instrument, which includes using the Net Promoter SystemSM (NPS®) employed widely in customer feedback circles, to the nonprofit beneficiary context. Organizations implementing L4G are all customer-­‐facing nonprofits. In 2016, we made 46 L4G grants supported by 28 nominating co-­‐funders

2017 grantees of L4G will receive $45,000 over two years ($30,000 from Fund for Shared Insight and $15,000 from a nominating co-­‐funder), as well as access to technical assistance to guide their implementation efforts. The core feedback tool is simple, consisting of six standard questions* that all participating L4G organizations are required to ask:

  • 1. How likely is it that you would recommend […] to a friend or family member
  • 2.  What is […] good at?
  • 3.  What could […] do better?
  • 4.  How much of a positive difference has […] made in your life?
  • 5.  Overall, how well has […] met your needs?
  • 6.  How often do staff at […] treat you with respect?

These questions may change slightly (though not significantly) in 2017. ©2015 SurveyMonkey.  

In addition, organizations can ask four optional demographic questions and add up to five custom questions to their survey. 

Purpose of Listen for Good

With the Listen for Good initiative, Fund for Shared Insight aims to:

  • Support diverse customer-­‐facing nonprofits to initiate or improve their practice of systematically collecting and using feedback from the people they seek to help. By “diverse”, we mean nonprofits of many budget sizes, issue areas, populations served, and geographies. By “the people we seek to help”, we mean individuals whose voices are least heard. For example, these might be families visiting food pantries, youth attending afterschool academic and enrichment programs, residents living in public housing, recent immigrants using legal-­‐aid services, or individuals participating in job-­‐training programs.
  • Accelerate the building of infrastructure needed for strong beneficiary feedback loops in the social sector, including technology, analytics, reporting, and access to tools and benchmarks. 
  • Experiment and learn about applying/adapting the Net Promoter System to the beneficiary feedback context – including determining what survey questions work best for organizations and building out benchmarks in key issue areas (e.g. food insecurity, community and economic development, health). 
  • Engage more funders in supporting, using, and valuing beneficiary feedback by structuring Listen for Good as a co-­‐funding/matching grant opportunity.
  •  Capture and share lessons learned with grantees, co-­‐funders, and the field to positively catalyze the feedback movement and inform the work going forward.

How to Participate (Nonprofits)

We are thrilled to announce we are offering up to 75 Listen for Good grants in 2017. 

In order to apply to participate in Listen for Good, a nonprofit must be nominated by a current funder (existing or new). If the nonprofit(s) a funder nominates is selected to participate in L4G, the nominating funder will contribute $15,000 of the $45,000 grant total for each nonprofit selected. Selected grantees will receive a $45,000 grant over two years: $30,000 paid the first year and $15,000 the second year. 

We will accept proposals from funder-­‐nominated nonprofits until Friday, May 26, 2017 at 11:59pm Pacific Time. There will be several informational webinars offered to answer applicants’ questions. Participation in these webinars is optional and will not influence funding decisions. For more information about Listen for Good, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents, see the Listen for Good: Nonprofit Application page. We will post updates to the FAQs, so please check back regularly.

How to Participate (Funders)

In order to engage more funders in supporting beneficiary feedback efforts and using client feedback data to inform their work, Listen for Good is structured as a co-­‐funding opportunity. Funders can nominate existing grantee(s) and commit to contributing $15,000 of the $45,000 grant total for each nonprofit selected. Funders may nominate as many grantees as they wish, but we encourage funders to prioritize organizations that want to collect feedback from the people they seek to help whose voices are least heard. The grantees should also want to participate and have the capacity to do so. 

To nominate a grantee(s) or learn more, please email Lindsay Louie, Project Director, Listen for Good, at llouie@hewlett.org. For more information about Listen for Good, including how to nominate a grantee and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for funders, see the Listen for Good: Information for Funders page. We will post updates to the FAQs, so please check back regularly.