For Foundations, Becoming Data-Driven is a Journey Not a Destination

By David Goodman, Director of Impact at Fluxx on 10/20/2016

First off, what does it really mean to be data-driven? And secondly, how do you get there? Two great questions I’ve thought a lot about. In fact, I asked folks from more than 100 foundations the same questions.

Several themes developed and a roadmap of proven strategies emerged.

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Grants Management and the Foundation of the Future

By Jessica Bearman, Bearman Consulting and Michelle Greanias, Grants Managers Network on 10/06/2016

This post first appeared on The Center for Effective Philanthropy blog.

At effective foundations, the how of grantmaking is everyone’s business.

When grantmakers think about their funding strategy, we often focus on where we will give, to what, and to whom. We think about the results we want our funding to spark or enable. But strategy is supported (or not) by operations: the way in which grantmaking programs are structured and how grants are introduced, applied for, screened, decided, made, monitored, reported upon, assessed, and learned from. These funder practices are what we call “the how.”

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How To Become Your Foundation's Data Expert

By Aaron Lester on 09/19/2016

The role of grants manager has evolved in recent years from primarily executing the foundation’s overall grant efforts to managing critical data that have the power to make a much broader impact across the organization.

But are you – a grants manager – ready to be your foundation’s data expert?

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Philanthropy's Biggest Bets Must Embrace Risk. And Transparency.

By Adriana Jimenez, ASPCA on 08/25/2016

Adriana Jimenez is grants manager at the Surdna Foundation and also serves on the board of directors of the Grants Managers Network This post was first published on Transparency Talk, a project of the Foundation Center

The Panama Canal expansion project opened last June following several delays and controversies. It was a risky bet with promising outcomes.

While the expansion aimed to improve global trade by doubling the canal’s capacity, it now runs the risk of failure from faulty design. The project was wrought with conflicts of interest, imprecise data, and dubious processes; its stakeholders consider critiques of the canal “unpatriotic,” reluctant to learn from mistakes.

Topics: Data
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Using Strategic Storytelling to Increase Impact: The Grants Manager’s Role

By RJ Bee on 06/15/2016

This post originally appeared on GMNsight, the journal of Grants Managers Network.

There are few topics and ideas that have generated as much buzz in philanthropy over the past few years as storytelling. It’s all with good reason, of course. Storytelling can help foundations and their grantees increase reach and resources—and, by extension, impact.

Topics: Data
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Foundation Transparency and Machine Readable IRS 990s: Is the Game Over?

By Brad Smith, Foundation Center on 06/03/2016

The tranquil world of America's foundations is about to be shaken, but if you read the Center for Effective Philanthropy's (CEP) recent study – Sharing What Matters, Foundation Transparency – you would never know it.

Don't get me wrong. That study, like everything CEP produces, is carefully researched, insightful and thoroughly professional. But it misses the single biggest change in foundation transparency in decades: the imminent release by the Internal Revenue Service of foundation 990-PF (and 990) tax returns as machine-readable open data.

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Children's Investment Fund Foundation Uses Data To Change Children's Lives

By Kristy Gannon on 12/18/2015

Matthew Maguire takes data to heart.

“It’s how we track all of our progress,” says Maguire, a finance business partner at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. “Data is what holds us accountable. It’s one of our core values and is driven through everything that we do.”

Maguire and his London-based team have committed to using data to drive decision-making to achieve their mission of creating a world where every child can not only survive, but also thrive.

Topics: Data Grantmaking
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ECMC Foundation: Brand New Grantmaker Hits the Ground Running with Fluxx Platform

By Aaron Lester on 11/18/2015

ECMC Foundation was founded in 2002, but the foundation took a substantial change in direction in late 2014 to rebuild itself as a grantmaking foundation focused on improving the educational outcomes of underserved populations through evidenced-based innovation.

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Blue Shield of California Foundation Focuses On Mission With New Grants Management Software

By Michelle Wohl on 10/27/2015

As Blue Shield of California Foundation began to grow and learn from and interact more with their grantmaking data, Grants and Contracts Manager Gwyneth Tripp recognized the need to move to a grants management solution that would grow with them and, more importantly, evolve with the industry.

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Central Valley Community Foundation Empowered by Greater Efficiency and Quality Data

By Jaime Morocco on 10/22/2015

Kelvin Alfaro, program officer at the Central Valley Community Foundation (formerly the Fresno Regional Foundation) knew there had to be a way to manage the grantmaking process more efficiently and effectively. Prior to 2013 the foundation was creating their own system of forms which made it tedious and time consuming to manage different grant cycles.   

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