Resources

  • insight Aug 2022

    Community in Philanthropy: What it is, why we need it, and how we can build it

    By Dr. Albertina Lopez This piece was originally published on Grantmakers for Effective Organizations’ blog, and has been republished with their permission. Recently, I was chatting with my colleagues Drs. Divya Bheda and Kathleen Doll about community—what it looks like in higher education and what it means when you value equity—on ExamSoft’s Pedagogo podcast. Our … Continued

    Community in Philanthropy: What it is, why we need it, and how we can build it
  • 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 Julia Coffman, Jane Reisman, Tanya Beer

    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 Dr. Chera Reid, Shaady Salehi

    Toward a Trust-Based Framework for Learning and Evaluation
  • insight Feb 2022

    How To Center Equity in Measurement, Learning, & Evaluation

    NationSwell convened a panel of experts to talk about how organizations should think about equity when engaging with measurement, learning, and evaluation.

    By Dr. Daniela Pineda, Dr. Amber Banks, Brianna Provenzano, Albertina Lopez

    How To Center Equity in Measurement, Learning, & Evaluation
  • publication Jan 2022

    Lost Causal: Debunking Myths About Causal Analysis in Philanthropy

    Causal analysis is not just for controlled programmatic work, it is also for dynamic and emergent strategies that include network building, field building, advocacy, organizing, or movements.

    By Jewlya Lynn, Sarah Stachowiak, Julia Coffman

    Lost Causal: Debunking Myths About Causal Analysis in Philanthropy
  • 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 May 2021

    How Far Dare an Evaluator Go Toward Saving the World?

    This article offers raw qualitative data as a supplement to the 2021 article authored by Michael Quinn Patton and published in the American Journal of Evaluation titled: "How Far Dare an Evaluator Go Toward Saving the World? Redux, Update, and a Reflective Practice Facilitation Tool."

    By Michael Quinn Patton

    How Far Dare an Evaluator Go Toward Saving the World?
  • publication Apr 2021

    Policy Wins Aren’t Enough; We Need Advocacy that Builds Power

    While getting policy wins and systems changes is important, what does it mean to center impacted communities as the drivers of change? What does it mean to make building their power the ultimate goal of advocacy work? What does it require of the broader ecosystem of advocacy actors who also are involved in the work? CEI's evaluation report of The California Endowment's Building Healthy Communities initiative explores these questions and more.

    By Julia Coffman, Gigi Barsoum, Albertina Lopez, Mariah Brothe Gantz

    Policy Wins Aren’t Enough; We Need Advocacy that Builds Power
  • 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 Ben Liadsky, Andrew Taylor, Julia Coffman, Tanya Beer, 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 Mar 2021

    Tools and Tips for Implementing Contribution Analysis

    Get practical lessons on applying contribution analysis to advocacy impact evaluations, especially when dealing with time and resource constraints. Contribution analysis does not seek to "prove" the role of a particular actor or set of actors in bringing about change, but instead to develop a plausible, credible evidence-based narrative to answer causal questions about their influence.

    By Laura Hopkins

    Tools and Tips for Implementing Contribution Analysis