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Public Affairs

2019

Developmental evaluation

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Business

Balancing The Competing Demands Of Strategic Philanthropy: The Case Of The Delaware River Watershed Initiative, Edward W. Wilson, Carol Bromer, David Laroche Dec 2019

Balancing The Competing Demands Of Strategic Philanthropy: The Case Of The Delaware River Watershed Initiative, Edward W. Wilson, Carol Bromer, David Laroche

The Foundation Review

Strategic philanthropy requires striking a balance between two extremes. On one side is unilateral agenda-setting by the foundation and excessive reliance on its own intellectual frameworks and methods. On the other side is too much deference to competing voices from the field, with the risk that funding will be haphazard and incoherent. This article describes how the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, supported by the William Penn Foundation, has struggled to position itself between these two extremes.

Based on an evaluation conducted during the first four years of the initiative, the article examines four interrelated tensions: upfront planning versus emergent strategy, …


From Idea To Initiative: Real-Time Learning For A Funder Collaborative On Nonprofit Strategic Restructuring, Way-Ting Chen, Lynn Alvarez, Carrie Harlow, Shannon Johnson, Jennifer Price-Letscher Jun 2019

From Idea To Initiative: Real-Time Learning For A Funder Collaborative On Nonprofit Strategic Restructuring, Way-Ting Chen, Lynn Alvarez, Carrie Harlow, Shannon Johnson, Jennifer Price-Letscher

The Foundation Review

Evaluation and learning is often seen as a high-stakes, formalized process of comparing an effort at its conclusion against some standard or benchmark. More recently, formative and developmental approaches to evaluation have been created to accommodate the need for more adaptability and ambiguity in an effort.

The Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, a multiyear collaboration of 17 funders in Los Angeles County, California, supports nonprofit organizations to collaborate and restructure in a variety of forms. As the initiative evolved, its evaluation and learning system had to have the ability to evolve with it. Real-time learning informed initiative design and refinement, aligned funders …