Listening & Feedback:
A Funder Action Menu


Convene nonprofits and funders to listen and learn together

A collaborative effort ourselves, Shared Insight believes that building the culture and practice of feedback in the social sector is a learning journey best done along with our fellow funders, grantees, and the people at the heart of our work. As in any field, sharing information, best practices, benchmarks, and inspiration is a productive way to move forward together.

For grantmakers with smaller budgets and staff, collaboration and convening can be an accessible way to learn more about feedback and listening while also creating opportunities for grantees to learn from each other. Examples of different approaches include:

Collaborate with other funders to learn about listening and feedback

Ongoing: NEPA Funders Collaborative, a consortium of grantmakers in Northeastern Pennsylvania, co-funds a number of nonprofits participating in the Listen4Good feedback initiative. The consortium — spearheaded by the Moses Taylor Foundation — came together with the explicit goal of creating a learning community of funders and nonprofits in the region participating in efforts to collect and use client feedback.

NEPA Funders Collaborative

Ad hoc: Four pairs of grantmakers from around the country have partnered in recent years to co-fund nonprofits participating in Listen4Good. They are:

  • San Juan United Way and Merrion Foundation
  • Endowment for Health and New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
  • Mary Black Foundation and The Spartanburg County Foundation
  • Rockwell Fund and The Simmons Foundation
Pairings of grantmakers

Convene funders and nonprofits that are implementing high-quality client feedback loops

Every quarter, NEPA Funders Collaborative convenes area funders and nonprofits participating in Listen4Good to share their progress and learnings around their feedback and listening efforts.

NEPA Funders Collaborative

Boston-based Barr Foundation and The Boston Foundation hosted a one-day New England Listen4Good Gathering in partnership with Philanthropy Massachusetts to connect, learn, and build momentum for funders and nonprofits in the area implementing high-quality feedback loops.

Barr Foundation and The Boston Foundation

Funders that have hosted one-time convenings of their foundation staff and funded nonprofits working on client feedback efforts.

  • Mary Black Foundation
  • Episcopal Health Foundation
  • The James Irvine Foundation
  • Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
  • Virginia Piper Charitable Trust
Funders hosted convenings

Convene grantees already focused on voice and agency to build community and share strategies

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s education grantmaking team invited nonprofit partners that are part of its portfolio on student, family, and community voice to a virtual convening co-designed and led by the grantees themselves. Organizations led sessions on culturally relevant social and emotional learning; strategies to build trust with and uplift voices of students, parents, and communities; and federal funding opportunities. The result, Hewlett reports, was a day of movement, community building, and co-created learning for the foundation and its partners.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

We’d love to feature your foundation’s feedback and listening practices in this menu! Please use this form to share your story.

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