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Being the Change: 12 Ways Foundations Are Transforming Themselves to Transform Their Impact

April 1, 2018

Many foundations are adopting new approaches for creating social change—approaches that aim to influence the actions and investments of the public and private sector, as well as address the complex conditions that hold social problems in place.Based on interviews with 114 practitioners representing 50 foundations and 8 philanthropic services organizations, Being the Change explores how foundations are applying their assets, knowledge, skills, networks, and people in new ways in order to create impact at scale and change systems.

Early Wins in Early Childhood: A Case Study in Seeding Systems Change

January 29, 2018

Southeast Virginia has long been home to numerous early care and education programs. However, operating traditionally in siloes, these programs were not seeing the results they desired.In 2016, Hampton Roads Community Foundation initiated a region-wide process involving nearly 100 stakeholders to scope and plan Minus 9 to 5, an initiative designed to unite previously disparate programs and people together for greater impact through systems change. This case study details the opportunities, highlights, and lessons learned in the first two years of the initiative. 

How to Lead Collective Impact Working Groups: A Comprehensive Toolkit

March 7, 2017

Working Group Co-chairs are not simply symbolic leaders; the success of a collective impact initiative hinges on Co-chairs bringing their commitment and leadership to a range of tasks.Built on our experience with numerous Working Groups, this kit provides detailed tools, templates, and tips. From increasing membership and community engagement to planning and running effective meetings, Co-chairs will find strategic and tactical resources to help them contribute to a successful initiative.

Improving the Odds: Seven Principles for Investing in Early Care and Education

May 1, 2016

Recent research and advocacy efforts have led funders, politicians, and the business community to agree that the first years of a child's life can determine the rest of their development. Across ideological divides, there is consensus that investing early makes sense—it helps children prepare for successful futures and creates a high return on investment of public dollars.We have created this short guide, featuring examples and how-to's based on our work with more than a dozen foundations working to make progress in the early care and education space. The guide highlights 7 principles to help funders understand and anticipate the challenges and opportunities of supporting early care and education, including practical advice on how to:Inclusively identify and constructively connect the many actors that provide quality care and education to children and their families.Navigate challenges that arise from a sector filled with different approaches and business models.Balance long-term strategies and outcome measures with short-term wins and progress markers.A

Banking on Shared Value: How Banks Profit by Rethinking Their Purpose

June 24, 2014

This paper articulates a new role for banks in society using the lens of shared value. It is intended to help bank leaders, their partners, and industry regulators seize opportunities to create financial value while addressing unmet social and environmental needs at scale. The concepts included here apply across different types of banking, across different bank sizes, and across developed and emerging economies alike, although their implementation will naturally differ based on context.

Managing for Learning and Impact

January 1, 2012

Over the past three years, the King Baudouin Foundation has developed a more systematic approach for the evaluation of its projects, which FSG helped codify in the KBF Project Management Guide: 'Managing for Learning and Impact'. There is a growing interest of foundations in Europe to evaluate the intended impact of their projects and programs. Foundations invest in an impact-driven philanthropy and therefore develop specific strategies, activities and tools.

Creating Shared Value: A How-to Guide for the New Corporate (R)evolution

March 1, 2011

Creating Shared Value (CSV) requires comprehensive and sustained efforts across a corporation. Drawing heavily on real-life examples, this report identifies ten key building blocks that together form a blueprint for translating CSV into action, and explores how companies can get started on that process.

Smallholder Farmer Development: International Donor Funding Trends

November 1, 2010

In order to enable more coordination between these various initiatives, FSG and the Smallholder Coalition have catalogued and analyzed $12 billion in funding from 29 donors representing more than 1,700 smallholder-focused projects active from 2009 onwards. Our intention with this analysis is to provide the community of donors, corporations, networks, NGOs, and governments involved with smallholder development with a first-of-its-kind snapshot of the state of smallholder funding flow trends.

Raising Money While Raising Hell: Catalytic Community Leadership and Successful Fundraising for Community Foundations

October 1, 2009

This paper debunks the myth that advocacy-oriented community leadership is naturally antithetical to fundraising, and highlights examples where foundations have built their fundraising efforts by playing advocacy-oriented community leadership roles. 

Taking Informed Action in Challenging Times: Helping Community Foundations during Economic Downturn

June 3, 2009

Following up on CF Insights' November 2008 report "Making Informed Decisions in Uncertain Times", this report is aimed at helping community foundations take informed action in relation to their operating models and community activities in reaction to the economic slump. The findings are based on quantitative and qualitative research conducted with 95 community foundations during the spring of 2009. The research findings overall underscore that the field has been able to "make lemonade" from the crisis. In light of tepid expectations for assets and gifts for the rest of 2009, community foundations are being creative and thoughtful in how they allocate precious resources andstep up their community leadership. 

Making Informed Decisions in Uncertain Times: Helping Community Foundations during Economic Volatility

November 6, 2008

To help community foundations address twin challenges of fewer resources and greater need, CF Insights conducted research by interviewing and collecting survey responses from a cross section of 73 community foundations during the month of October, 2008.