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  • publication Jul 2022

    A Tool for Systems Change that Supports Learning in Foundations

    Foundations are systems. They have their own cultures and related assumptions, norms, standards, and practices. We encourage foundations to take stock of their learning needs with a dispassionate (evaluative) look at themselves as systems and how people work within them.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman, Jane Reisman

    A Tool for Systems Change that Supports Learning in Foundations
  • publication Mar 2022

    Toward a Trust-Based Framework for Learning and Evaluation

    What if we reimagined evaluation as an opportunity for funders to learn and evolve as stewards, rather than taking on the narrow–and virtually impossible–task of proving that limited grants make a measurable impact on longstanding, complex social issues?

    By Shaady Salehi, Chera Reid

    Toward a Trust-Based Framework for Learning and Evaluation
  • Building with windows

    publication Nov 2021

    We need to articulate our assumptions so that we can test them. Here’s a guide to help.

    This four-page guidance defines assumptions, explains why it is critical to articulate them, and then offers a set of prompting questions to help elicit them. Examples are included.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    We need to articulate our assumptions so that we can test them. Here’s a guide to help.
  • publication Aug 2021

    Holding Foundations Accountable for Equity Commitments

    Philanthropy needs to transform the structures and processes through which foundations hold power, including how they conceive of and operationalize accountability through their approaches to strategy development, evaluation, and grantee reporting and monitoring.

    By Tanya Beer, Patti Patrizi, Julia Coffman

    Holding Foundations Accountable for Equity Commitments
  • 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
  • event Mar 2021

    What It Was, What It Is, Who We Are Becoming

    The 2021 Evaluation Roundtable convening explored the first teaching case the Evaluation Roundtable ever explored: "Evaluation of the Fighting Back Initiative"

    What It Was, What It Is, Who We Are Becoming
  • 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]