Fast Forward to Greater Impact: The Power of Field Scans

Field scans are emerging as a core tool for family funders inundated by increasingly larger numbers of nonprofits seeking funding, the ubiquity of social media pitches, and an almost limitless amount of data available on the web—data which can be more overwhelming than useful. Field scans are particularly valuable for family foundations that want to try a new strategy, find partners, or leverage their assets. Amy Goldman, executive director of the GHR Foundation, says that field scans are nearly “essential” for any strategic grantmaker. This Passages Issue Brief explores what field scans are, the different types and purposes of scans, various models of design and methodology, and how such scans can be accessed, shared, and kept current. Several stories of family funders who have used field scans for impact are featured.

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