Resources

  • publication Sep 2017

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

    Under the direction of a new president, The McKnight Foundation embarked on a process to imbue learning at every level of one of its signature international programs: the Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP). This teaching case explores the creation, implementation, and ongoing refinement of an evaluation and learning approach for CCRP from 2008 to 2017. 

    By Susan Parker

    On the Other Side of Complexity: The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program
  • presentation Sep 2017

    Better, Faster, Results – Supporting Learning for Multiple Audiences

    How can foundations build an approach that is connected to robust data and information and supports the many learning needs of multiple actors? This presentation for the 2017 Evaluation Roundtable convening is on strategies for supporting learning in philanthropy. It presents questions, challenges, and implications for foundation practice.

    By Tanya Beer, Kat Athanasiades, Julia Coffman

    Better, Faster, Results – Supporting Learning for Multiple Audiences
  • insight Jul 2017

    FaceTime, Open Workspace, and Electronic Calendars are a Few of My Least Favorite Things: Learning and the Way We Work

    Supporting learning is about much more than facilitation and what happens at learning-focused events or meetings. We have to expand our thinking about what it takes to support effective learning in philanthropy. This article on Medium explores some unexpected sources, such as time management, physical and virtual space, and technology.

    By Julia Coffman

    FaceTime, Open Workspace, and Electronic Calendars are a Few of My Least Favorite Things: Learning and the Way We Work
  • publication May 2017

    Strategy Behind the Design of Advocacy Communications Support

    Foundations that fund advocacy understand the critical role communications play in policy change efforts. How can foundations best support grantees’ advocacy communications? This brief offers lessons based on the experiences of advocacy grantmaking initiatives.

    By Meghann Flynn Beer, Ed Walz

    Strategy Behind the Design of Advocacy Communications Support
  • publication May 2017

    Systems Change Evaluation Forum

    Complex systems change efforts create practical challenges for evaluation. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation convened their full staff and a group of external evaluators who work in philanthropy for a Systems Change Evaluation Forum. This report provides observations, tools, approaches, and advice for addressing systems evaluation challenges.

    By Tanya Beer

    Systems Change Evaluation Forum
  • publication Feb 2017

    Considering Starting a 501(c)4? Case Studies

    Thinking about starting a 501(c)(4) to enable a wide range of advocacy activities, including electoral advocacy? Learn from those who've already done it.

    By Alliance for Justice

    Considering Starting a 501(c)4? Case Studies
  • insight Feb 2017

    Making Collaborative Advocacy Work

    For many foundations, collaboration is key to advocating for policy and practice change. But these kinds of partnerships can be challenging to execute well. This collection from GrantCraft and IssueLab brings together dozens of reports and reflection pieces about multi-party advocacy efforts; providing valuable perspective on both the sticking points and how we might move through them.

    By GrantCraft and IssueLab

    Making Collaborative Advocacy Work
  • publication Nov 2016

    How Do You Measure Up? Finding Fit Between Foundations and Their Evaluation Functions

    Foundations need to think carefully about how the structure, position, focus, resources, and practices of their evaluation functions can best fit their own needs and aspirations. This Foundation Review article, based on 2015 benchmarking research, poses questions foundations can ask to assess what they need from an evaluation function, and common areas of misalignment between needs and approaches.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    How Do You Measure Up? Finding Fit Between Foundations and Their Evaluation Functions
  • publication Oct 2016

    501(c)(4) Strategy and Discussion Guide

    This guide is for individuals, organizations, and funders interested in starting 501(c)(4) organizations. It discusses the strategic questions that must be considered in determining whether, when, and for what purpose(s) to create a 501(c)(4).

    By Alliance for Justice

    501(c)(4) Strategy and Discussion Guide
  • publication Oct 2016

    Primer on Social Welfare Organizations: Using 501(c)(4) Organizations for Good

    The primer covers the big questions that advocates and funders ask, including how 501(c)(4)s are unique, what kinds of activities they can undertake, who donates to them, and what rules govern donor disclosure. Brief descriptions of real-world examples help illustrate how (c)(4)s have played key roles in advancing causes such as marriage equality and immigration reform.

    By Alliance for Justice

    Primer on Social Welfare Organizations: Using 501(c)(4) Organizations for Good
  • publication Oct 2016

    No More Half Measures

    Funders can get better at designing grantmaking strategies that meet the dual demands of advocacy capacity needs and the realities of the policy and political landscape. This brief explores how funders can support policy campaigns while also building advocacy capacity, instead of just picking one approach or the other.

    By Scott Downes

    No More Half Measures
  • insight Sep 2016

    Could Foundations Have Mounted A Better Defense of the Affordable Care Act?

    The Atlantic Philanthropies sought to explore what supportive funders did to advance the ACA’s odds of success following enactment. The author focused on a mix of national funders and those that worked in selected states, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Community Catalyst, The California Endowment and The Atlantic Philanthropies itself.

    By Michael Booth

    Could Foundations Have Mounted A Better Defense of the Affordable Care Act?