Foundation Listening and Sharing Grants: Results and Takeaways

Foundation Listening and Sharing Grants Results and Takeaways

In 2016, Fund for Shared Insight made 10 grants to organizations that responded to an open RFP focused on “increasing foundation openness in service of effectiveness.” As described in the RFP, the term “openness” was intended to be defined as “a two-way collaborative process where foundations not only share out information but also listen deeply and engage with what others have to say to inform, change and improve their work.” Shared Insight supported this work with the underlying belief that “if foundations are more open – if they listen to others and also share out what they themselves have learned – they will be more effective.” As these grants come to an end, evaluation partner ORS Impact interviewed the 10 organizations that received grants to learn more about progress and lessons learned. This memo, created primarily for Fund for Shared Insight’s 13 core funders, describes the cumulative results and lessons learned from this body of work.

Key Findings

  • Grantees generally completed the activities and achieved the outputs they had proposed.
  • Grantees defined and advanced “openness” in different ways, with a majority focusing on funder/grantee relationships.
  • Most grantees described changes in awareness, knowledge, and prioritization, and there were some examples of behavior/practice changes.
  • There is some openness to greater listening and sharing, but it may be at the margins, and there are still meaningful barriers to larger scale change.
  • While equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) wasn’t an explicit focus for this body of work, there are some lessons for future efforts.


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Foundation Listening and Sharing Grants: Results and Takeaways by ORS Impact is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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