Assessing the Status of the Feedback Field

Assessing the Status of the Feedback Field Report Cover

A new report from Fund for Shared Insight’s evaluation partner ORS Impact examines the field of feedback and listening in the social sector. The overall assessment: The field is strengthening, expanding, and showing progress toward the goal of making high-quality feedback and listening standard practice among funders and nonprofits.

The report points to a core set of leaders in the field, a growing number of organizations coalesced around a shared goal, more resources and knowledge products, developing standards, and improving funding and incentives for the spread and uptake of new practices. Along with the progress, however, the report also notes challenges and offers important reflections for consideration, including:

“Making equity and power a foundational pillar for the field will require even more intentional and strategic efforts”: While there is a much clearer conceptualization of the relationship between feedback and equity, and more intentional efforts to ensure that feedback is advancing equity, equity is still not central to the feedback field as a whole.

“Creating a bigger tent to include listening has implications for ongoing field building”: Field leaders have shifted their discourse and shared goals to position feedback under a broader umbrella of listening, a change that can bring in more actors, funding, reinforcing efforts, and greater influence, but also could distract players from their original goals.

For more reflections, complete findings, and comparisons with ORS’s 2018 field assessment, read the full report.

Other Insights