Fund for Shared Insight believes that funders and nonprofits are more effective, contribute to more impact, and more powerfully advance equity when they listen to the people and communities most affected by their decisions. And since our beginnings in 2014, we have understood the need to support and promote that case with stories, examples, and evidence.
However, we chose not to start a blog right away. Because we were new and working to strengthen and expand our network and audience, we focused instead on getting our message out through other organizations and publications.
We still do that, but things have changed. Our signature feedback initiative, Listen4Good, has now been implemented by more than 675 direct-service nonprofits with the support of 125 funders. Our feedback research grantees are producing compelling evidence about the relationship between feedback and programmatic outcomes.
Our participatory grantmaking initiative, which began as a way to explore how advocacy and policy organizations can do better listening, has evolved in ways that have challenged our ideas about philanthropy and power. And our Funder Listening Community of Practice has galvanized a network of philanthropy support organizations committed to encouraging funders to listen and act on what they hear.
In short, we have more insights from our experiences, and a growing network of partners and champions with important lessons to share. Which is why we are so pleased to be launching this blog.
Insights for Change is a one-stop resource for anyone ready to learn more about how philanthropy and nonprofits advance impact and equity by listening to the people at the heart of their work. We’ll post Fund for Shared Insight news and updates here, as well as opinion pieces from staff, leaders in our network, and other partners. We’ll share real-life case studies about nonprofits and funders that demonstrate how listening leads to real change. And we’ll feature the regular analyses and reports produced by our evaluation and learning partner, ORS Impact.
We won’t inundate you. We’ll publish every other week — sometimes a little more often if we have timely information or are running a special series. To give us feedback or to become a contributor, email our communications director, Rick Moyers, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our goal at Fund for Shared Insight is for foundations and nonprofits to be meaningfully connected to the people and communities most harmed by structural racism and other systemic inequities, and more responsive to their insights and feedback. Since high-quality listening in service of equity is not currently the norm in philanthropy and the social sector, achieving that goal will require change.
And that’s ultimately the goal of this blog — to provide insights through various forms of evidence, including examples, stories, and evaluations, that make the case for change.