How Do You Know You Have the Right Data for Meaningful Storytelling?

By David Goodman, Director of Impact at Fluxx on 02/07/2017

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Top 7 Cybersecurity Terms You Need to Know To Protect Your Foundation’s Data

By Aaron Lester on 01/24/2017

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Foundations are understandably tight-lipped about cyberattacks. Because of the sensitive nature of the breached data and fear that broadcasting a hack might invite more attacks, it’s not often that we hear about cybersecurity threats in philanthropy. But it can happen to anyone, anywhere — and it happens more than you might think.  

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Philanthropy Has an Impact Problem That Technology Can Help Solve

By David Goodman, Director of Impact at Fluxx on 11/17/2016

tag_blog_2016.jpgDavid Goodman participated on the Vendor Plenary Panel at the 2016 Technology Affinity Group (TAG) annual conference, where he first discussed his views on data, evaluation, and the sometimes over-emphasis on "impact" in philanthropy.

While my background is in research and evaluation, I’ve spent a great deal of time working with foundations and nonprofits to build their capacity to understand and use research and evaluation. I’m very excited to be able to bring my experience to the philanthropic sector at a time when there is a growing realization that it can benefit from the expertise of researchers and evaluators from other fields or disciplines.

This is a good thing. It gets me out of bed in the morning.

Yet, as much as I am excited about the emphasis on data, measurement, and impact, there is also a part of me that wants to pause – just for a moment – to talk about the disproportionate emphasis on “impact” alone.

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The 3 Most Important Ways to Share Data for Greater Impact

By Aaron Lester on 10/27/2016

data_sharing_blogv2.jpgThere’s no denying it. The way we work has fundamentally changed. Our cloud-based, bring-your-own-device, collaborative workspaces – virtual and brick-and-mortar –  bear very little resemblance to the foundations of even a decade ago. The technology that makes all this possible is also generating new ways for grantmakers to do their work — specifically, the ability to access and leverage data like never before.

To make the most out of this new work environment, foundations are opting into a culture of data-sharing and transparency.

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

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

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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

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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

data_expert_blog.jpgThe 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

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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.

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

By RJ Bee on 06/15/2016

storytelling_blog.jpgThis 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.

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

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

Open_Data_blog-1.jpgThe 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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