Breaking Down Silos: Three Ways to Collaborate at Your Foundation

By Newsroom on 08/14/2018

 

A new generation is redefining social sector leadership with a work style that maximizes efficiency through collaboration. And you don’t have to be a millennial to harness the power of information sharing.

Here are three ways to access your foundation's valuable internal resources by simply communicating with colleagues:

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It’s Time to Rethink the Final Report: How to Create a More Meaningful Feedback Loop

By Aaron Lester on 12/05/2017

This post was originally published on the PEAK Grantmaking blog in November, 2017.

It’s inevitable: at the end of every grant cycle, a final report provides a record of grantee successes, challenges, and monies spent. But how often does the final report become a meaningful mechanism for further reflection or change?

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Program Managers: Do You Have a Love/Hate Relationship With Data? It's time to fix that.

By Aaron Lester on 11/22/2017

As a program manager and subject expert, you’ve always believed in the importance of capturing information and stories that articulate the impact of your work. Until recently, however, you may not have had the time, resources, or expertise to take your data practices to the next level.

Topics: Data Grantmaking
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Grants Managers: How to Think Like a Data Scientist

By Aaron Lester on 11/10/2017

Chances are, if you began your career as a grants manager 10 or 15 years ago, you didn’t consider yourself a tech pro, or a data wizard. You probably used a computer every day. And you became adept at office applications like Excel and Word. But still, there probably was a whole lot of paper in your life.

How times have changed.

Topics: Data Grantmaking
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Why Foundations Should Play a Collaborative, Connecting Role in Environmental Funding

By Aaron Lester on 10/19/2017

Although the environmental sector only accounts for 3 percent of total giving in the U.S., environmental issues, particularly climate change, remain among the most pressing and intractable problems of our time.

Topics: Grantmaking
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The 'How' of Grantmaking: Best Practices to Improve Your Foundation’s Unique Grant Process

By Aaron Lester on 04/04/2017

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive game plan for grantmakers. “The how of grantmaking,” as PEAK Grantmaking calls it, is many times a learn-on-the-fly endeavor, with systems, processes, and best practices handed down from one grants manager or program officer to the next. But sometimes best practices get lost in translation or dropped altogether.

That’s why we’ve gathered what we feel represents the best practices that are common among all effective grantmakers. And while it is true that your foundation has a unique way of managing the grantmaking process, we’ve uncovered tribal knowledge – broken down into three key steps –  that you can employ to improve your efficiency and effectiveness.

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The 3 Most Important Ways to Share Data for Greater Impact

By Aaron Lester on 10/27/2016

There’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.

Topics: Data Grantmaking
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How Foundations Can Empower Grantseekers and Reduce Grantee Burden

By Aaron Lester on 10/24/2016

Many nonprofits struggle under the weight of grantee burden. Any unnecessary hoops that grantees are forced to jump through only serve to stifle the impact that they (and their funders) seek to achieve. As a funder, any time you can minimize the  amount of time, effort, and money that nonprofits spend seeking and receiving grants, you increase their capacity to focus on what they do best – their mission-related work.

Topics: Grantmaking
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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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Transparency and Foundation Results: In Philanthropy, What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

By Nell Edgington, Social Velociy on 05/05/2016

The Center for Effective Philanthropy’s recent research report, Sharing What Matters: Perspectives on Foundation Transparency, released earlier this year, provides some startling data about the state of transparency in the foundation world.

While for the most part, foundation leaders recognize the importance of transparency and are trying to be more transparent, the report shows there is still much work to do.

Topics: Grantmaking
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