FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm. We are experienced advisors to corporate, foundation, and nonprofit/NGO leaders. Through our combination of customized consulting services, powerful insights, and ground-breaking initiatives, we help clients around the world create social impact.

Facilitating Intentional Group Learning

Posted on June 11, 2021

For organizations to be successful, individuals need opportunities to share data, as well as their knowledge and experiences, with others. Facilitated, intentional group activities create the ideal environment for reflection and dialogue that lead to new insights and understandings. From quick 20-minute activities to multi-hour gatherings, this guide provides detailed instructions on how to conduct high-energy, inclusive, and productive experiences… Read More

Evaluating Complexity

Posted on June 11, 2021

While evaluation has traditionally focused on assessing programmatic impact according to pre-determined indicators, a new approach is needed for evaluating complex initiatives, as well as initiatives operating in complex environments where progress is not linear, predictable, or controllable. Nine propositions can help evaluators navigate the unique characteristics of complex systems, improve their evaluation practice, and better serve the needs of the social… Read More

Engaging Boards and Trustees in Strategic Learning

Posted on June 11, 2021

Effecting social change in a rapidly changing political environment and an increasingly interconnected world requires foundations to adopt a learning orientation. Without continuous learning, grantmakers—and thus boards and trustees—are unaware about what is working where, with whom, and why, as well as what changes or refinements are needed in order to achieve the grantmakers’ desired results. Researched and written in… Read More

Systems Thinking Toolkit

Posted on June 11, 2021

Systems thinking allows individuals and organizations to understand the complex relationships and contexts surrounding social issues in order to best influence and navigate the system. We have identified several tools that are helpful in this practice, whether you are looking to understand an issue and its system, create a plan for action, or learn and refine as you go. This… Read More

Being The Change

Posted on June 4, 2021

Many foundations are adopting new approaches for creating social change—approaches that aim to influence the actions and investments of the public and private sector, as well as address the complex conditions that hold social problems in place. Based on interviews with 114 practitioners representing 50 foundations and 8 philanthropic services organizations, Being the Change explores how foundations are applying their assets, knowledge,… Read More

Water of Systems Change

Posted on June 4, 2021 by Mark R. Kramer

Foundations involved in systems change can increase their odds for success by focusing on less explicit but more powerful conditions for change, while also turning the lens on themselves… Read More
Voices from the Field

Foundations: Use Your Balance Sheet to Help

Posted on April 3, 2020 by Mark R. Kramer

bridge over river
Editor’s note: This article was originally published by FSG and is re-posted here with permission.  During this massive economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, government and media attention is focused on the impact on businesses, financial markets, and the economy, but the impact on our nonprofit sector will be worse. Direct service nonprofits will be stretched by the sudden increase… Read More