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Studying Resiliency: Select Bibilography

March 1, 2016

The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation defines resiliency as the capacity of an organization to respond effectively to change, to adapt successfully to new and unforeseen conditions and circumstances – and to seize opportunity.Because the Foundation is investing all assets by 2020, it has special interest in the ongoing sustainability of grantees. We know that resiliency matters to grantee success. In 2013, Foundation program officers began working in partnership with grantees to examine and discuss seven factors that can contribute to organizational resiliency. These factors are now available for broad use via a free, downloadable Resiliency Guide. In advancing this work, the Foundation commissioned Monitor Institute to conduct a comprehensive literature review. In 2015, the Monitor team developed a rich bibliography of publications relevant to resiliency, including specific sources related to each of the resiliency factors used in the Guide. The Foundation is pleased to share the results of their search with you here.

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation M&E Landscape

October 1, 2015

To understand best and next practice in measurement and evaluation (M&E) in philanthropy, we interviewed and conducted research on more than 40 social sector and governmental organizations. We talked with M&E leaders at foundations and other organizations considered to be highperforming in M&E, as well as with field specialists with experience across a number of organizations or deep expertise in relevant areas. Our research focused on four central categories of M&E design: structure, staff, methodology and processes.Through our research, we uncovered several design characteristics that seem common to high-performing M&E units. These include: an M&E leader with high positional authority and broad expertise, methodological diversity, a focus on learning, and an evaluation focus beyond individual grants.We also found a number of design characteristics for which there is no one-size best-in-class M&E design. Instead, the aim should be to design an M&E unit that is the right fit for the organization in terms of purpose (function) and in keeping with organizational structure and culture. Therefore, to determine the best design for M&E within an organization, it is critical for that organization to be clear on its measurement purpose and to be clear-eyed on its culture.

What's Next for Community Philanthropy: Making the Case for Change

June 1, 2014

The models of community foundations today vary almost as widely as the communities in which they're based. While many organizations remain focused on traditional activities like endowment management, donor service, and grantmaking, other community foundations have begun to experiment with new opportunities for serving their communities, from financing social impact bonds to facilitating community dialogue.Yet despite a growing record of innovation, the prevailing narrative of the community foundation field has remained largely unchanged as the model hits its centennial anniversary. Instead of a story of adaptation and diversity, the field is still viewed as if it had a single, uniform model -- acting as a charitable bank for their communities -- that no longer really represents the heart of what many community foundations do.This dated narrative is beginning to hold community foundations back. It prevents outsiders from seeing the vibrancy and innovation going on in the field, and it pushes many community philanthropy organizations to retrench defensively in the face of new competitive challenges at a time when they would be better off opening themselves up to new ideas and new ways of serving their communities.The Monitor Institute's What's Next for Community Philanthropy initiative aims to shift this narrative, and to help the community foundation field enter its second century on its front foot. The complete toolkit can be found here:

Gather: The Art and Science of Effective Convening

June 28, 2013

This guidebook is for people who want to change the world. It's for social change leaders who understand the power of convening the right group of people, and who believe that collective intelligence trumps individual smarts when it comes to solving shared problems. It's for those who know that there is an art and a science to convening and want to get better at both. Ultimately, this guidebook is a practical toolkit to help a world-changer who is taking on the role of lead convening designer.This guidebook is organized around the most common building blocks of constructing any convening: deciding whether to convene, clarifying a "north star" purpose, and making a bevy of design choices that flow from that purpose. It offers a set of design principles, key questions, and critical issues to be considered and customized for your situation.

Brighter Futures: Tackling the College Completion Challenge

January 10, 2013

The United States' single greatest collective investment in human capital -- and in its future generations -- is public education. Yet today that investment is generating very poor returns for low-income students.Members of the lowest-income U.S. families are 10 times less likely to earn a bachelor's degree than members of the highest-income families. This situation would be troubling in any environment, but with income inequality only increasing and global job competitiveness intensifying every year, it is downright dangerous -- not just for low-income students but for society at large. While a field-level conversation about the college access, persistence, and completion challenges that face low-income students has been slow in coming, we believe that conversation is now imperative.Our new report Brighter Futures outlines the problem, the state of the field, and how to collectively intensify the ways we address these pressing challenges:Improve coordination between key actors: between high schools and colleges, within the college community, among nonprofit organizations, and between actors in the field and parents/communitiesCreate clarity around metrics -- and what drives successful outcomesLook beyond the traditional definition of "student".

Catalyzing Networks for Social Change

October 24, 2011

Explains how funders can "catalyze" networks to address complex, interconnected issues: weave social ties; access diverse perspectives; openly build and share knowledge; create infrastructure for widespread engagement; and coordinate resources and action.

DISRUPTION: Evolving Models of Engagement and Support

April 30, 2011

A National Study of Member-Based Advocacy Organizations: Complete survey findings.

Connected Citizens: The Power, Peril and Potential of Networks

April 5, 2011

Based on surveys and interviews, explores how network-centric practices will affect citizen engagement and community information, with case studies and scenarios for 2015. Offers grantmakers suggestions, tips, and tools for supporting networks for good.

How the Public Perceives Community Information Systems

March 1, 2011

Based on surveys in three cities, analyzes links between perceptions of the local government's transparency and residents' satisfaction with its performance, the community, and local information ecosystem, as well as sense of civic empowerment.

Community Information Toolkit: Building Stronger Communities Through Information Exchange

March 1, 2011

Offers guidance and tools such as templates, checklists, and scorecards for assessing and improving community information systems; media, libraries, online government information, forums, and broadband access to support civic participation.

What's Next for Philanthropy: Acting Bigger and Adapting Better in a Networked World (Executive Summary)

July 16, 2010

Our final report highlights how changes in the world around philanthropy will call on funders to not only adopt today's best practices, but also to pioneer "next practices"—effective approaches that are well-suited to tomorrow's more networked, dynamic, and interdependent landscape of public problem solving. It details 10 specific next practices that we believe will help funders have greater impact on growing social and environmental problems.

What's Next for Philanthropy: Acting Bigger and Adapting Better in a Networked World (Snapshot)

July 16, 2010

Where the cutting edge of philanthropic innovation over the last decade was mostly about improving organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and responsiveness, we believe that the next practices of the coming 10 years will have to build on those efforts to include an additional focus on coordination and adaptation. The most innovative funders in the future will do more than operate as effective, independent institutions.This two-page overview of the report and links to the full suite of materials; complete report, executive summary, and an innovation toolkit.