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  • publication Apr 2021

    Approaches to Learning Amid Crises: Reflections from Philanthropy

    Explore how foundations’ approaches to learning shaped their responses to the crises of 2020. In interviews with seven foundations from Canada and the U.S. in the summer and fall of 2020, the authors applied the lens of organizational learning to how each of these foundations made sense of their reality, asked different kinds of questions to inform their thinking, and acted in new or different ways as a result.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman, Ben Liadsky, Andrew Taylor, Albertina Lopez

    Approaches to Learning Amid Crises: Reflections from Philanthropy
  • publication Jan 2021

    Co-creating our story: A hybrid participatory case approach to evaluating and accelerating organizational change

    This brief describes an evaluative approach we took to an organizational change process at a foundation that could be useful to evaluators.

    By Tanya Beer, Susan Parker, Kurian Thomas, Anne Cullen Puente

    Co-creating our story: A hybrid participatory case approach to evaluating and accelerating organizational change
  • insight Aug 2020

    Dr. Chera Reid is the New Leader of the Evaluation Roundtable

    Chera takes over the Roundtable’s leadership at a pivotal time in its evolution. Going forward, the Evaluation Roundtable will focus on organizing participants to influence the philosophy and norms of practice in philanthropy so that evaluation and learning help to advance racial equity and justice.

    Dr. Chera Reid is the New Leader of the Evaluation Roundtable
  • insight Aug 2020

    Can Foundations Radically Transform How They Learn?

    In 2020, we are seeing some fundamental shifts in how foundations are operating and attempting to learn. How might we use our experience right now to understand something new about the organizational and sector conditions that are necessary to make real and honest learning and adaptation possible and in service to equity?

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman, Jane Reisman, Ben Liadsky, Andrew Taylor

    Can Foundations Radically Transform How They Learn?
  • presentation Jul 2020

    Re-Thinking How We Work with Boards on Evaluation and Learning

    Most board room routines are based on the mental model that social change is a technocratic problem-solving endeavor. So we incentivize and reward staff who project a degree of certainty about how social change happens that's just not real because the change process is much more complex.

    By Tanya Beer

    Re-Thinking How We Work with Boards on Evaluation and Learning
  • publication Mar 2020

    Smart Decision-Making

    Even when evidence is available in the social sector, it is rarely used. A number of tools and tactics can help us become savvier consumers of information.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    Smart Decision-Making
  • presentation Feb 2020

    Performance Measurement for Emergent and Complex Strategies [Webinar]

    Learn about four types of strategies—niche, integrated, emergent, and ecosystem—and the types of performance measurement and accountability systems best suited to each.

    Performance Measurement for Emergent and Complex Strategies [Webinar]
  • Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices 2020

    publication Jan 2020

    Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices 2020

    What does foundation evaluation look like today? Is it adapting to meet the changing needs of the sector and society?

    By Tanya Beer, Mariah Brothe Gantz, Kat Athanasiades, Julia Coffman, Albertina Lopez

    Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices 2020
  • insight Oct 2019

    How Leaders Affect Evaluation Capacity Building in Foundations

    Regardless of intent, foundation leaders can substantially harm or strengthen evaluation capacity building in their organizations. We can add value if we know how and why.

    By Albertina Lopez

    How Leaders Affect Evaluation Capacity Building in Foundations
  • insight Oct 2019

    Funders are from Mars, Consultants are from Venus

    If we want evaluation to add real value to social change efforts, both funders and evaluation consultants have to re-examine their roles and how they relate.

    By Julia Coffman

    Funders are from Mars, Consultants are from Venus
  • insight Oct 2019

    What Will it Take for Philanthropy to Learn?

    Learning leaders from fourteen foundations participated in a year-long "Lab for Learning" to experiment with and test ideas for supporting learning in foundations. Several “ground truths” guided this work.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman, Jane Reisman, Haley Millet, Aparna Rae

    What Will it Take for Philanthropy to Learn?
  • presentation Jul 2019

    How to Ask Powerful Questions [Webinar]

    The kinds of questions we often pose — Did the intervention work? What are we learning about a particular issue? — may lead to information that is a useful input into learning, but they often don’t help us determine what to do next. This webinar shows us how to ask questions that, if answered, will make a difference in how we do our work.

    By Tanya Beer

    How to Ask Powerful Questions [Webinar]