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Front Matter Dec 2014

Front Matter

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


Editorial, Teri Behrens Dec 2014

Editorial, Teri Behrens

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


Executive Summary Dec 2014

Executive Summary

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


Maximizing Return: An Evaluation Of The Walton Family Foundation’S Approach To Investing In New Charter Schools, Matthew Carr, Marc Holley Dec 2014

Maximizing Return: An Evaluation Of The Walton Family Foundation’S Approach To Investing In New Charter Schools, Matthew Carr, Marc Holley

The Foundation Review

The Walton Family Foundation’s social-impact goals include reform of the American K-12 education system by increasing the number of highquality schools available to low-income students. One of the foundation’s signature strategies toward this end is to support charter schools.

This article presents the findings of a study that suggests the foundation’s investment approaches to charter school startups have been successful in supporting the creation of high-quality seats for low-income students. Specifically, the foundation has invested in charter schools where test-score performance has shown greater improvements than at local district schools and charter schools that have not received foundation funding.

These …


Drugs, Depression, And Dating Violence: Partnering With Schools To Collect And Use Data On Adolescent Risky Behaviors, Rebecca H. Donham, Shari Kessel Schneider Dec 2014

Drugs, Depression, And Dating Violence: Partnering With Schools To Collect And Use Data On Adolescent Risky Behaviors, Rebecca H. Donham, Shari Kessel Schneider

The Foundation Review

In 2005, the MetroWest Health Foundation launched a 10-year initiative to conduct the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey biennially with every high school and middle school student in the foundation’s 25-town region. The survey asks students about substance use, violence, sexual behaviors, mental health, and nutrition.

In the first year of the initiative, about two-thirds of public high schools and half of the middle schools in the region participated. By 2012, every public high school and middle school participated. Encompassing some 40,000 students, the survey is considered to be one of largest, if not …


Redefining Expectations For Place-Based Philanthropy, Katelyn Mack, Hallie Preskill, James Keddy, Moninder-Mona K. Jhawar Dec 2014

Redefining Expectations For Place-Based Philanthropy, Katelyn Mack, Hallie Preskill, James Keddy, Moninder-Mona K. Jhawar

The Foundation Review

This article discusses how The California Endowment has used a midcourse strategic review to refine Building Healthy Communities, aiming to provide insight for other place-based initiatives and to add to the body of knowledge about how to support transformative community change.

With Building Healthy Communities, the endowment is taking a new approach to community change using a dual strategy to build community capacity in 14 places and scale the impact of its local efforts through statewide policy advocacy and communications. In 2013, it commissioned a strategic review to reflect on what it has learned from the first three years of …


What We Have Learned About Grassroots Philanthropy: Lessons From Mexico, Artemisa Castro Félix, A. Scott Dupree Dec 2014

What We Have Learned About Grassroots Philanthropy: Lessons From Mexico, Artemisa Castro Félix, A. Scott Dupree

The Foundation Review

Mexico is going through a transition from traditions of authoritarian, top-down social and political management that have tended to marginalize the efforts of community groups in addressing social and environmental challenges.

While there are many important questions about strengthening civil society organizations in general, grassroots groups in particular are challenged by the weak enabling environment for social action.

Despite this, the Action in Solidarity Fund has found that it is very possible for philanthropists to reach small grassroots groups with the support they need and to begin to strengthen the social fabric for communities to act on their own behalf. …


Giving Circles In Asia: Newcomers To The Asian Philanthropy Landscape, Robert John Dec 2014

Giving Circles In Asia: Newcomers To The Asian Philanthropy Landscape, Robert John

The Foundation Review

Amid the rapid development of philanthropy across Asia, over the past 10 years a number of giving circles have appeared in the region.

This form of philanthropy, where individuals pool resources and provide grants to nonprofit organizations in their community, is well known and studied in the U.S. This article examines the phenomenon in Asia, and finds giving circles there to be either indigenous or based on models transplanted from the United States or Europe.

While ancient traditions of charitable giving have existed for centuries in Asia, the concept of organized philanthropy in order to effect specific societal benefit is …


Back Matter Dec 2014

Back Matter

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


Peeking Behind The Curtain: The Operations And Funding Priorities Of Rural Private Foundations, Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, Brandi Blessett, Claire Connolly Knox Dec 2014

Peeking Behind The Curtain: The Operations And Funding Priorities Of Rural Private Foundations, Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, Brandi Blessett, Claire Connolly Knox

The Foundation Review

This article examines the operations and funding priorities of rural private foundations in Florida, using data from the U.S. Census, the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics, and interviews with foundation leaders.

The study found that grantmaking by rural foundations is split between out-of-state and in-state giving, determined by the intent of a benefactor or the personal choices of a foundation founder and/ or family.

This finding presents opportunities for nonprofit organizations and community groups in rural counties to communicate community needs in order to retain a larger amount of foundation dollars in the foundation’s home state and county.


Enabling Community And Trust: Shared Leadership For Collective Creativity, Mohammed Mohammed, Kurian Thomas Dec 2014

Enabling Community And Trust: Shared Leadership For Collective Creativity, Mohammed Mohammed, Kurian Thomas

The Foundation Review

The strength of nonprofit organizations comes from well-developed human connections that spur productive collaboration across levels of hierarchy. This article, exploring the experience of the Fetzer Institute, demonstrates that workplace creativity is best fostered if it is matched by a style of leadership that invites a wider spectrum of internal actors to actively participate.

While acknowledging the significance of shared leadership, this article does not necessarily advocate for the dissolution of hierarchy; rather, it points out that the key lies in finding the sweet spot between organizational structure and a creative community.

The article describes tools that are particularly effective …


Executive Summary Oct 2014

Executive Summary

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


Front Matter Oct 2014

Front Matter

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


Editorial, Michelle Greanias Oct 2014

Editorial, Michelle Greanias

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


The Impact Grants Initiative: Community-Participatory Grantmaking Modeled On Venture Philanthropy, Adin Miller, Elisa Gollub, Ilana Kaufman, Adina Danzig Epelman Oct 2014

The Impact Grants Initiative: Community-Participatory Grantmaking Modeled On Venture Philanthropy, Adin Miller, Elisa Gollub, Ilana Kaufman, Adina Danzig Epelman

The Foundation Review

· The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund (JCF) launched the Impact Grants Initiative (IGI), a model of grant making based on venture philanthropy, but offering high engagement opportunities for previously unaffiliated local donors and community leaders.

· Before adopting the IGI model, the JCF used a community-participatory grantmaking approach that had become stale in engaging its donors, community leaders, and professional staff. Younger existing and potential donors were developing interests in documented outcomes, metrics, and impact, and those interests did not align with JCF’s grantmaking approach.

· IGI builds on the concepts of venture philanthropy, combining theories and techniques …


Ripple Effects Of Process Change, Rebekah Usatin, Nancy Herzog, Myriam Fizazi-Hawkins Oct 2014

Ripple Effects Of Process Change, Rebekah Usatin, Nancy Herzog, Myriam Fizazi-Hawkins

The Foundation Review

· Decisions to change processes in one area have the potential to cause ripples throughout the entire grantmaking process, impacting both donor and grantee. Recognizing this, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) thoroughly examines and/or tests any changes before they are integrated into the grantmaking practice. In 2009, NED launched a pioneering grantee self-evaluation process that significantly altered its grantmaking processes.

· This article describes how NED tasked a team of staff from the different sections of its grantmaking program to determine the most effective way to capture the information needed to determine whether a grant should be recommended for …


Climbing The Mountain: An Approach To Planning And Evaluating Public-Policy Advocacy, Sam Gill, Tom Freedman Oct 2014

Climbing The Mountain: An Approach To Planning And Evaluating Public-Policy Advocacy, Sam Gill, Tom Freedman

The Foundation Review

· This article proposes a new methodology for planning and evaluating public-policy advocacy. The methodology is designed around a series of stages, each with a different set of strategic planning and assessment requirements.

· The article suggests that both planning and evaluative approaches that fail to take account of the necessary stages required to develop and then implement an advocacy strategy will likely assign the wrong indicators of success.

· This analysis is based on direct experience working with both policy processes and a wide range of foundations and nonprofits that have invested in public-policy advocacy, including the Rockefeller, Ford, …


Financial Analysis For Measuring And Comparing Risk In Grantmaking Portfolios, Sheena Ashley, Lewis Faulk Oct 2014

Financial Analysis For Measuring And Comparing Risk In Grantmaking Portfolios, Sheena Ashley, Lewis Faulk

The Foundation Review

· Risk has not been treated in a systematic way that allows for a rich understanding of the extent to which foundations are, or should be, incorporating or evaluating risk in philanthropy.

· In this article, we conceptualize and develop a tool to evaluate the levels of philanthropic risk that foundations maintain through their grant portfolios.

· We create an index of aggregated risk at the portfolio level using several financial indicators based on previous theory and literature. Then, we test the index on a sample of foundations and their grantees in the state of Georgia and compare risk levels …


Using A Priority Grid As A Tool For Shaping Strategy And Building Impact, Lori Fuller Oct 2014

Using A Priority Grid As A Tool For Shaping Strategy And Building Impact, Lori Fuller

The Foundation Review

· This article describes the priority grid – an analytic tool to assess grant proposals – and how it has fundamentally changed and improved the work of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

· Developed by the Trust, the priority grid focuses staff attention on key strategic elements: alignment with focus areas, depth of impact, and scope of impact. It has also served as an agent to develop, disseminate, and implement a foundation’s grantmaking strategy, helping program officers understand how specific projects serve the larger goal and cultivate projects and applications that align with the foundation’s long-term mission.

· With …


In Other Words, The Budgets Are Fake: Why One Funder Eliminated Grantee Budgets To Improve Financial Due Diligence, Molly Schultz Hafid, Carol Cantwell Oct 2014

In Other Words, The Budgets Are Fake: Why One Funder Eliminated Grantee Budgets To Improve Financial Due Diligence, Molly Schultz Hafid, Carol Cantwell

The Foundation Review

· In 2013, the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock eliminated budgets from its application requirements. Over the last 18 months, it has worked to overhaul the financial information it requests and the ways in which it is used.

· This article examines the role of financial information in the grant application process, the practice of developing and reviewing funder budgets, and the ways in which they too often fail to provide information relevant to a thorough review of the financial health of a nonprofit organization.

· The Veatch Program provides a case study in how to engage board …


Back Matter Oct 2014

Back Matter

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


Front Matter Jul 2014

Front Matter

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


Editorial, Teri Behrens Jul 2014

Editorial, Teri Behrens

The Foundation Review

No abstract provided.


Improving Care And Service Coordination For Vulnerable Populations Through Collaboratives: One Funder’S Approach, Impact, And Implications For The Field, Lisa Payne Simon, Amber Slichta, Ann F. Monroe Jul 2014

Improving Care And Service Coordination For Vulnerable Populations Through Collaboratives: One Funder’S Approach, Impact, And Implications For The Field, Lisa Payne Simon, Amber Slichta, Ann F. Monroe

The Foundation Review

· Improvement collaboratives are short-term learning systems that bring together teams from multiple organizations to seek improvement on a focused topic within the organizations. Most commonly applied in clinical settings, improvement collaboratives are less frequently applied in social-service settings or across agencies to support coordination of care and services for vulnerable populations.

· This article describes findings from four collaboratives conceived and funded by the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York. It examines the foundation’s collaborative structure (a modified Breakthrough Series model in which health and social-service organizations work together in multi-agency teams to implement best practices and …


Where Heart Meets Smart: The Making Of A Grantmaker, Elizabeth A. Castillo, Mary B. Mcdonald, Christina P. Wilson Jul 2014

Where Heart Meets Smart: The Making Of A Grantmaker, Elizabeth A. Castillo, Mary B. Mcdonald, Christina P. Wilson

The Foundation Review

· Graduate programs in nonprofit management increasingly include philanthropic studies in their curricula. However, these programs generally focus on a grant seeker's point of view.

· This case study describes a graduate philanthropic studies course at the University of San Diego developed from a grant maker's perspective. Students partner with a local private foundation to serve as its program officers for a special initiative.

· By becoming grant makers the students experience the intellectual, emotional, and practical challenges of effective grant making. They develop grant making competencies and an appreciation for the art and science of philanthropy. The foundation benefits …


Survey Instruments Used To Evaluate Foundation-Funded Nonprofit Capacity- Building Programs: Considerations For Organized Philanthropy, Catherine H. Brown Jul 2014

Survey Instruments Used To Evaluate Foundation-Funded Nonprofit Capacity- Building Programs: Considerations For Organized Philanthropy, Catherine H. Brown

The Foundation Review

· Alongside a growing interest in nonprofit capacitybuilding programs has come a growing concern with the impact of these programs, especially by organizations that fund them. This article describes how the McKinsey Organizational Capacity and Assessment Tool and, to a lesser extent, the Abt Associates survey have been used to assess changes in nonprofit capacity as part of nonprofit capacity-building programs.

· Drawing on field experience with both survey instruments in the context of a foundationfunded nonprofit capacity-building program, this article compares the respective benefits and costs of these instruments from the perspective of evaluators as well as survey respondents. …


Public-Philanthropic Partnerships: A Review Of Recent Trends, Alan Abramson, Benjamin Soskis, Stefan Toeopler Jul 2014

Public-Philanthropic Partnerships: A Review Of Recent Trends, Alan Abramson, Benjamin Soskis, Stefan Toeopler

The Foundation Review

· The last decade has seen a surge of interest in public-philanthropic partnerships (PPPs), due not only to these collaborations’ notable successes but also to the 2008 election of Barack Obama. The Obama administration unveiled a series of initiatives that looked to philanthropy to help identify innovative programs.

· To explore the issues involved in PPPs, this article looks at two key federal initiatives, Michigan’s Office of the Foundation Liaison, and the involvement of foundations in state and local responses to the 2007 financial crisis and the implementation of the federal economic stimulus package.

· The growth of public-philanthropic partnerships …


Transparency, Performance Assessment, And Awareness Of Nonprofits’ Challenges: Are Foundations And Nonprofits Seeing Eye To Eye?, Ellie Buteau, Mark Chaffin, Ramya Gopal Jul 2014

Transparency, Performance Assessment, And Awareness Of Nonprofits’ Challenges: Are Foundations And Nonprofits Seeing Eye To Eye?, Ellie Buteau, Mark Chaffin, Ramya Gopal

The Foundation Review

· In order for nonprofits and foundations to work most effectively together, they must understand each other’s perspectives.

· This article discusses the alignment between the perspectives of nonprofit and foundation chief executive officers on four aspects of foundation practice: transparency with the nonprofits they fund, support for nonprofit-performance assessment, awareness of nonprofits’ challenges, and the degree to which foundations use their resources to help address nonprofits’ challenges.

· Nonprofit and foundation CEOs are aligned when it comes to the degree to which foundations are seen to be aware of nonprofits’ challenges and use their resources to help address them. …


Raising The Bar – Integrating Cultural Competence And Equity: Equitable Evaluation, Jara Dean-Coffey, Jill Casey, Leon D. Caldwell Jul 2014

Raising The Bar – Integrating Cultural Competence And Equity: Equitable Evaluation, Jara Dean-Coffey, Jill Casey, Leon D. Caldwell

The Foundation Review

· Whether implicit or explicit, social justice and human rights are part of the mission of many philanthropies. Evaluation produced, sponsored, or consumed by these philanthropies that doesn’t pay attention to the imperatives of cultural competency may be inconsistent with their missions.

· The American Evaluation Association’s Statement on Cultural Competence provides those who produce, sponsor, and use evaluation an opportunity to examine and align their practices and policies within a context of racial and cultural equity and inclusion. The use of such a lens is paramount when evaluating a program whose goals touch on issues of equity or inclusion. …


From Citywide To Neighborhood-Based: Two Decades Of Learning, Prioritization, And Strategic Action To Build The Skillman Foundation’S Youth-Development Systems, Della M. Hughes, Marie Colombo, Laura A. Hughes, Sara Plachta Elliott, Andrew Schneider-Munoz Jul 2014

From Citywide To Neighborhood-Based: Two Decades Of Learning, Prioritization, And Strategic Action To Build The Skillman Foundation’S Youth-Development Systems, Della M. Hughes, Marie Colombo, Laura A. Hughes, Sara Plachta Elliott, Andrew Schneider-Munoz

The Foundation Review

· This article explores the Skillman Foundation’s shift in its approach to fulfilling its mission to improve the lives of children and youth and to making grants – moving from a traditional grantmaker to a place-based investor and change-maker.

· Three aspects of Skillman’s approach have directly shaped the evolution of its youth-development investments: recognizing Detroit’s economic, social, political, and environmental challenges; articulating overarching goals to provide direction and setting priorities for the scope and focus of its programmatic work; and using rapid learning to inform strategic decisions and social-innovation practices designed to tackle deeply entrenched problems.

· This article …