Valerie Threlfall

Principal, Ekouté; Managing Director, Listen4Good

Valerie Threlfall is Principal of Ekouté. Her consulting approach is informed by more than 15 years experience working as a nonprofit practitioner and leader within highly successful startup organizations. Valerie created her initial consulting firm in 2013, establishing an early presence in the Bay Area’s nonprofit youth and education space. In 2015, she was engaged by the Fund for Shared Insight to help design and lead what has become their signature initiative, Listen4Good. This initiative has scaled rapidly to be a leading capacity building program on feedback practices, serving more than 400 nonprofit grantees nationwide.

Prior to creating Ekouté, Valerie served as Vice President and founding director of the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s (CEP) YouthTruth initiative, scaling the project from an idea described in a two-page memo to a nationally recognized nonprofit that captures and shares youth perspectives with school leaders to inform change.

After leading the landscape analysis that justified YouthTruth’s development (in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Valerie designed the YouthTruth pilot and expanded it four-fold within two years. Under her leadership, YouthTruth surveyed more than 125,000 students from 215 schools across 28 districts/networks over three years and produced tangible improvements in participating schools. To date, more than 85% of participating educators have used YouthTruth data to inform their programmatic and policy decisions.

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Listening to Those Who Matter Most, the Beneficiaries

Posted on August 25, 2020 by Valerie Threlfall, Fay Twersky, Phil Buchanan

To become more effective, nonprofits and foundations are turning to various sources for advice. Some look to experts who can share knowledge, research, and experience about what works—and what does not. Others turn to crowdsourcing to generate ideas and even guide decisions about future directions or funding. Experts and crowds can produce valuable insights. But too often nonprofits and funders… Read More

How Family Foundations Can Listen4Good

Posted on July 16, 2020 by Valerie Threlfall, Lisa Sobrato Sonsini, Fay Twersky, Nicholas A. Tedesco, Melinda Tuan

Philanthropy is an ever-evolving practice. It’s clear that partnering with and listening to the people and communities family foundations seek to serve are instrumental to realizing positive and enduring impact over time. This webinar describes Fund for Shared Insight’s Listen4Good feedback initiative and provides guidance on how you and your grantees collect feedback to make agile and informed decisions during this… Read More