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  • 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]
  • insight Jul 2019

    Are you really ready for developmental evaluation? You may have to get out of your own way.

    Developmental evaluation can create anxieties and disappointments for evaluation commissioners and evaluators who apply conventional evaluation routines to an evaluation endeavor that is fundamentally different.

    By Tanya Beer

    Are you really ready for developmental evaluation? You may have to get out of your own way.
  • event Jun 2019

    Transitions and Transformations for Evaluation’s Role in Philanthropy

    The 2019 Evaluation Roundtable convening explored how evaluation leaders—working within or with foundations—can manage change not just defensively, but proactively and productively.

    Transitions and Transformations for Evaluation’s Role in Philanthropy
  • publication Jun 2019

    When Opportunity Knocks, Open the Door: Evaluation Amidst Transition at the Colorado Health Foundation

    The Colorado Health Foundation experienced multiple organizational transitions in a short period of time, including two strategy redesigns, culture and values shifts, new expectations and assumption about roles and performance, and a new CEO. This teaching case invites reflection on the role of evaluation staff and consultants amidst the uncertainty and ambiguity of organizational change.

    When Opportunity Knocks, Open the Door: Evaluation Amidst Transition at the Colorado Health Foundation
  • publication Jun 2019

    Realigning Foundation Trustees to Incentivize Learning

    A common barrier for the development of a foundation's learning culture is how staff and boards engage. The problem is that most of the routines in the board room are actually based on the mental model that social change is a technocratic problem-solving endeavor. There could be a lot of power in starting to change the routines and habits that hold that technocratic mental model in place.

    By Tanya Beer

    Realigning Foundation Trustees to Incentivize Learning
  • insight Jun 2018

    5-A-Day: Learning By Force of Habit

    Establishing a learning organization or culture is such a big goal that it can overwhelm our ability to act on it. This piece, published on Medium, explores how building learning habits into common routines makes it more manageable, and creates small wins that can lead to big change. Focusing on habits ensures that learning is not a separate activity, but rather is integrated into our day-to-day work.

    By Julia Coffman

    5-A-Day: Learning By Force of Habit
  • insight Jun 2018

    Precipitating Events and Rewards in Making a Habit of Learning

    Better habits around learning are critical to improving philanthropic practice. This piece looks at what needs to happen before and after habit change to make a new way of working stick.

    By Kat Athanasiades

    Precipitating Events and Rewards in Making a Habit of Learning
  • insight May 2018

    Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Consequences of Small Failures in Learning

    It was the worst U.S. maritime disaster in three decades, involving an experienced captain with a reputation for safety. This article, published on Medium, explains went wrong and what it can teach us about the often-overlooked factors that affect our learning and decisions.

    By Julia Coffman

    Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Consequences of Small Failures in Learning
  • publication Jan 2018

    Addendum to On the Other Side of Complexity: The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program

    This addendum makes clarifications to the teaching case of The McKnight Foundation's Collaborative Crop Research Program and its evaluation. It adds detail on the program's developmental evaluation.

    Addendum to On the Other Side of Complexity: The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program