Voices from the Field

Every Collaboration Needs Some Structure (Part 2 of 4)

Posted on August 23, 2021 by Debi Blizard, Zoe True

Courtesy of Kindel Media from Pexels As the second part of our series on 21st Century Collaboration, we explore a common tension that often arises for family foundations caught between a desire for open collaboration and a need for a clear governance structure. Our interviews with over 25 innovative philanthropic and socially-minded organizations (some of whom are listed at the… Read More
Voices from the Field

Takeaways Blog on Impact, Measurement, and Evaluation

Posted on August 18, 2021 by Jen Crino

Courtesy of Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash  This blog summarizes key notes from our August Fundamentals of Family Philanthropy Webinar. Impact is often an elusive concept in philanthropy. Giving families want to understand the impact of their investments, as well as the most effective way to assess progress, how to define and measure success for challenging and long-term problems, and ways… Read More
Voices from the Field

Five Ways Your Grants Management System Can Activate Trust-based Philanthropy

Posted on August 17, 2021 by David Goldsmith, Eric Jones

Courtesy of Mikhail Nilov from Pexels If the last tumultuous year has taught us anything, it’s that future-proofing your foundation’s grants management system (GMS) is more critical than ever. Core GMS capabilities like cloud-based access for staff and trustees, paperless processing, grantee portals, and electronic payments are now baseline must-haves for family foundations of almost any size. All indications are… Read More
Voices from the Field

Why and How Family Foundations Can Advance Equity Through Participatory Measurement

Posted on August 13, 2021 by Lymari Benitez, Yessica Cancel, Mary Marx, Katie Smith Milway, Teddy Thompson

Courtesy of Pace Center for Girls  The recent investment by MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett in funder coalitions Fund for Shared Insight and Equitable Evaluation Initiative—both dedicated to increasing participant feedback in evaluation—is the latest vote of support for gathering evidence of program impact in ways that engage program participants as experts in assessing their own experience. Participatory evaluation (PE),… Read More
Voices from the Field

Turning Aspiration into Action: A New Report Illustrates Equity in Action at the McKnight Foundation

Posted on July 26, 2021 by Na Eng

Before Covid-19, the McKnight Foundation invited grantees and partners to reserve meeting space in its Minneapolis office. Photo courtesy of the McKnight Foundation. This article was originally posted by the McKnight Foundation and is re-posted here with permission. Ever since the McKnight Foundation released the organization’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement in 2018, our board and staff have… Read More
Voices from the Field

Looking Ahead: Featuring NCFP Peer Network Co-chairs

Posted on July 22, 2021 by Katie Scott

Courtesy of Jopwell from Pexels The National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) activates and connects a diverse and engaged community of philanthropic families and partners and seeks to foster unique opportunities for learning and inspiration. A hallmark of our work and area for growth in our future is our Peer Networks. Peer Networks are peer-led groups for a specific role… Read More
Voices from the Field

Takeaways Blog on Grantee Relationships and Power Dynamics

Posted on July 21, 2021 by Jen Crino

Courtesy of Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels This blog summarizes key notes from our July Fundamentals of Family Philanthropy Webinar. Power dynamics are inherent any funder and grantee relationship, and this imbalance between giver and receiver can inhibit productive, honest partnerships. Often nonprofits make shifts to accommodate funder guidelines for grant dollars they are seeking, to fit the specific grant application… Read More
Voices from the Field

Strengthening Your Board’s Decision-making Process

Posted on July 13, 2021 by Ann Shulman

This blog post is excerpted from the new Passages Issue Brief: Demystifying Decision Making in Family Philanthropy How does your Board of Directors make decisions? Do you gather around a table with a clear, concise packet of relevant materials, a well-prepared agenda that spells out which decision-making process will be used, then calmly discuss various proposals until you reach a decision… Read More
Voices from the Field

Moving from Deceit to Trust: The Necessity of Listening

Posted on July 9, 2021 by Melinda Tuan

Courtesy of Christina Morillo from Pexels This article was originally published by The Center For Effective Philanthropy and is re-posted here with permission. A colleague recently asked me how much has changed since I wrote “The Dance of Deceit,” a 2004 Stanford Social Innovation Review article in which I reflected on my seven years as managing director of REDF and the power imbalances I… Read More