Listen4Good (L4G) is an initiative of Fund for Shared Insight, a funding collaborative working to improve philanthropy by promoting listening and feedback. Structured as a co-funding/grant-matching opportunity, L4G attracted 28 co-funders and supported 46 grantee organizations in its first year (2016). L4G helps grantees implement systematic, rigorous collection and use of feedback by accelerating the development of the infrastructure needed for feedback loops; encourages experimentation with the use of the Net Promoter System (NPS®); and facilitates nonprofits in sharing their lessons learned to catalyze a feedback field.
Shared Insight is working with its evaluation and learning partner, ORS Impact, to understand the experiences, lessons learned, and impacts observed by L4G grantees and co-funders. Over the past year, ORS Impact surveyed L4G grantees and interviewed co-funders. The themes and findings offer valuable insights for funders and nonprofits interested in incorporating feedback loops into their work and building nonprofits’ capacity for feedback practice.
From L4G grantees
- Nonprofit organizations involved in L4G are gaining new insights from feedback. All program managers and agency leaders reported at least a few new insights regarding their work because of their participation in L4G.
- Nonprofit organizations are making changes as a result of their participation in L4G. About a third of organizations reported using feedback data to make changes to operations, programs offered, and/or how staff interact with clients.
- Core to the overarching purpose of L4G, grantees felt that their capacity for implementing feedback practices is improving in all aspects of the L4G process.
- In addition to gaining new insights, making changes, and developing internal capacities for feedback practices, grantee organizations also reported organizational benefits from their involvement in L4G. Nearly 80% of agency leaders felt that their involvement in L4G contributed to an increased organizational focus on the ultimate beneficiaries of their work. Nearly 75% of agency leaders felt that their involvement in L4G led to greater responsiveness in meeting constituents’ needs.
From L4G co-funders
- Several co-funders commented that they participated in L4G because they believed in the positive benefits to nonprofits resulting from collecting and using feedback to enhance their organization or their work.
- Co-funders also spoke about the benefit of leveraging their investments and living out their existing values. For some, these values included the belief that nonprofits would improve their programs and impact by listening to those they serve. Others valued community engagement and authentic relationships.
- Some co-funders also felt their L4G involvement was a valuable learning experience for themselves and for their grantees, as it provided exposure to work happening on a national scale.
- Involvement in L4G has largely re-affirmed co-funders’ thoughts and values about feedback processes and nonprofits.
- L4G has helped co-funders consider new ideas and potential changes in their internal foundation work, in how they work with grantees, and in their relationships with grantees’ beneficiaries.
- Many co-funders mentioned that they gain access to constituent data either by funding research on community-level indicators, or by asking grantees about constituent information.
Nonprofit and Co-Funder Experiences with Listen4Good: Reflections on Year One by ORS Impact is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License