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The Foundation Review

2019

Organizational learning

Articles 1 - 6 of 6

Full-Text Articles in Business

Below The Waterline: Developing A Transformational Learning Collaborative For Foundation Program Officers, Annie Martinie, Jaime Love, Michael Kelly, Kirsten Dueck, Sarah Strunk Jun 2019

Below The Waterline: Developing A Transformational Learning Collaborative For Foundation Program Officers, Annie Martinie, Jaime Love, Michael Kelly, Kirsten Dueck, Sarah Strunk

The Foundation Review

Learning from fellow grantmakers is imperative in today’s ever-changing world. In late 2016, four health legacy foundations partnered to launch the Health Legacy Collaborative Learning Circle, creating an opportunity to understand not just the participating foundations’ visible investments and programs, but also the underlying behaviors, structures, and mindsets that ultimately explain why certain results were or were not achieved.

This article describes the yearlong process of creating the collaborative, and presents a new learning framework — based on the iceberg metaphor — that can be used to create learning environments that test and expand assumptions about promising approaches to common …


Learning About Neighborhood Change Through Funder-Grantee Collaboration, Debra Dahab, Brooke Finn, Lois Greco, Nancy Kopf Jun 2019

Learning About Neighborhood Change Through Funder-Grantee Collaboration, Debra Dahab, Brooke Finn, Lois Greco, Nancy Kopf

The Foundation Review

NeighborWorks America and the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation support change in communities through a rigorous and structured collaborative learning framework that places the resident voice and experience at the center of learning. Both funders regularly engage in collaborative learning processes with their grantees and partners to support local revitalization practices and inform program and grantmaking strategies.

This article examines the key ingredients and processes needed to develop and sustain collaborative learning among grantee organizations, community residents, and other stakeholders and funding partners, as well as the critical role played by technical assistance providers.

The authors reflect on their experience with …


Strategic Learning In Practice: A Case Study Of The Kauffman Foundation, Matthew Carr, Brett Hembree, Nathan Madden Mar 2019

Strategic Learning In Practice: A Case Study Of The Kauffman Foundation, Matthew Carr, Brett Hembree, Nathan Madden

The Foundation Review

Increasingly, foundations and nonprofits are seeking to engage their staff in learning and reflection activities that assess successes and challenges, and then generate insights that can improve programs and funding strategies. Yet, despite the intuitive benefits, there are common challenges that often stand in the way of promoting strategic learning for continuous improvement.

For the past year, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has been focused on creating more systematic and intentional strategic learning across our organization. As part of this work we cultivated a select cohort of staff to be “learning champions,” created simple tools and processes that can more …


Building A Culture Of Learning: Teaching A Complex Organization How To Fish, Tiffany Clarke, Hallie Preskill, Abigail Stevenson, Pamela Schwartz Mar 2019

Building A Culture Of Learning: Teaching A Complex Organization How To Fish, Tiffany Clarke, Hallie Preskill, Abigail Stevenson, Pamela Schwartz

The Foundation Review

Many social sector organizations are looking to balance their strategic plans with an ability to respond more quickly to change as it unfolds in their communities. For many years — but gaining particular urgency in 2015 — Kaiser Permanente Community Health saw a need to better understand the progress and impact of its portfolio and use its data to adapt strategy in response to its changing context.

To increase its capacity for strategic learning, Community Health worked with FSG to develop and implement a system called Measurement and Evaluation for Learning and Outcomes. While this process was tailored to Community …


Challenges And Opportunities In Philanthropic Organizational Learning: Reflections From Fellow Grantmakers, Jennifer Chubinski, Kelley Adcock, Susan Sprigg Mar 2019

Challenges And Opportunities In Philanthropic Organizational Learning: Reflections From Fellow Grantmakers, Jennifer Chubinski, Kelley Adcock, Susan Sprigg

The Foundation Review

As the field of philanthropy has matured, increasing attention has been paid to evaluating the impact of philanthropic investments. In recent years, the scope of evaluation has expanded to include an intentional focus on organizational learning with the goal of learning from ongoing work, informing decision-making, and ultimately improving impact.

With this momentum to carry out organizational learning strategies and share successes, the sector has not yet stopped to reflect on challenges and lessons learned in the process of building the capacity for organizational learning — the messy yet meaningful middle between a desire for learning and the implementation of …


Reflective Practice For Learning From Experience: Navigating The Back Roads At Work, Jan Jaffe Mar 2019

Reflective Practice For Learning From Experience: Navigating The Back Roads At Work, Jan Jaffe

The Foundation Review

What are the roadblocks that limit reflective practice in the field of philanthropy? Between the desire to move the needle on social change and the pressure to be productive, philanthropy as a field is understandably driven to focus on doing and resistant to taking time to reflect on practice. This article is designed to help foundations encourage leadership and staff to put their expertise into play as a learning strategy.

This article defines reflective practice and traces roots and research that can inform its use. It also reports on interviews with philanthropy practitioners about how they use various reflective practice …