More Than Words: Key Takeaways from J.P. Morgan and the “How” of Measurement and Impact in Philanthropy

By David Goodman, Director of Impact at Fluxx on 12/19/2016

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If there is one thing the philanthropic sector doesn’t need is another “conversation” about data, measurement, and impact. We are already really good at discussing these things and identifying the challenges, convening a group to address them, or attributing blame for why we continue to struggle with them.

That’s why a recent event hosted by The Philanthropy Centre at J.P Morgan in San Francisco was such a breath of fresh air. The gathering, How to Maximize Philanthropic Impact, was squarely focused on ensuring that the ideas presented there moved beyond just “talk.”

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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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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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Foundations: Create Broader Impact With a Culture of Collaboration

By Aaron Lester on 09/21/2016

Silos_1.jpgPhilanthropy is changing. A new guard of social sector leadership is establishing a new way of working that maximizes impact and efficiency by promoting technology, transparency, and willingness to learn.

The key to this new way of thinking is collaboration — and this goes beyond the ease with which technology allows us to convene, share, and work together. And it transcends age: You don’t have to be a Millennial to understand the power of information sharing.

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The Future of Impact: How Technology is Changing the Game

By Jason Ricci on 09/14/2016

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Whether you call it “all hands on deck” or “all oars in the water,” it has always made sense to me that we employ all the tools at our disposal to stanch the flow of intractable problems we face as a society.

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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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Impact and Evaluation in Philanthropy: The Journey Beyond Quick Fixes

By The Fluxx Impact Team on 03/31/2016

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Like many of you, we have been hearing more and more about the need for evaluating grant outcomes and assessing the impact of philanthropic work. In fact, you cannot attend a conference, read an article, or follow a blog or anyone on Twitter these days without hearing the drumbeat for "Impact! Impact! Impact!"

At Fluxx, we are in full agreement on the need for evaluation as a means to inform funding decisions, to improve the development and implementation of grant services, and to sustain impact over time. The problem that we see, however, is that most of the guidance around assessing impact, and evaluations more generally, are "quick fixes" that lack a meaningful evaluative framework, and neglect to understand that the success and appropriateness of any evaluation are heavily influenced by the program being implemented and the capacity of the organization conducting the evaluation.

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

By Kristy Gannon on 12/18/2015

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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.

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Strong Grantee Relationships Enable Critical Impact on Food Safety

By Aaron Lester on 12/15/2015

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Do you endure sleepless nights fretting about the safety of the food you eat at restaurants? Me neither. That’s because we don’t have to.

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Knight Brings Unprecedented Value to Smaller Grantees

By Aaron Lester on 09/28/2015

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Since early 2013 Knight Foundation has been using Fluxx to optimize its grantmaking processes to fund more grantees in a shorter amount of time, allowing the foundation to concentrate more on portfolio-level strategy.

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