Who We Are

Fund for Shared Insight is a national funder collaborative working to improve philanthropy by promoting and supporting ways foundations and nonprofits listen and respond to the people and communities most impacted by the systems and structures we’re seeking to change. We believe those affected by our decisions, but often least consulted, can offer unique and valuable insight into how to bring about lasting, meaningful change that improves lives in ways people define for themselves.

Our work is focused on spreading this message, joining with more partners, and continuing to build both the commitment and capacity around the kind of listening, partnering, and learning that values lived expertise, shifts power, and leads to more equitable outcomes.

All of Shared Insight’s work is centered on the goal of advancing equity.

Fund for Shared Insight Timeline

2013

The White House invites government, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders to discuss the emerging field of feedback loops.

Interest growsaround creating a collaborative supporting openness between and among foundations and grantees and connecting more closely with the people and communities philanthropy intendsto serve. The Hewlett Foundation takes the lead in convening small groups of funders around the country to explore options.

2013

July 2014

Rita Allen, Ford, Hewlett, Kellogg, Packard, and the JPB Foundations, along with Liquidnet, pool money and resources to form Fund for Shared Insight.

July 2014

July 2014

“It’s time to make gathering … feedback routine so that all of us, at both foundations and other nonprofits, reliably consider the perspectives and experiences of those we seek to help,”  write Fay Twersky, Hewlett Foundation, and Hilary Pennington, Ford Foundation, in an op-ed for The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

July 2014

November 2014

First grants totaling $5.26-million go to14 organizations for efforts around foundations sharing information; feedback-practice initiatives; and research onfeedback loops.

November 2014

December 2014

BY THE NUMBERS

$5.3M in grants awarded / 14 Grantees / 9 Funders
Cumulative through 2014

December 2014

May 2015

Listen4Good (L4G) launches. The new national initiative provides nonprofits tools, resources, and support to create high-quality, client-focused feedback loops that can help improve the way they work, make decisions, deliver services, and relate to the people and communities they serve.

May 2015

December 2015

BY THE NUMBERS

$10.7M in grants awarded / 62 Grantees / 35 Funders
Cumulative through 2015

December 2015

January 2016

Shared Insight is recognized as a Top 10 “Thought Leader” by one ofCandid’s predecessor organizations,the Foundation Center.

Shared Insight “is not just another industry group out to improve philanthropy; it is actually made up of philanthropy professionals representing … leading foundations, so the opportunity for peer learning, influence, and momentum building is high.” Janet Camarena, Foundation Center

January 2016

February 2016

With the support of 12 co-funders, 19 direct-service nonprofits receive the first Listen4Good grants.

“We are excited that … grantees, through Listen4Good, will now be able to more systematically collect feedback from the young people they serve and augment the outcomes data they already measure.” Lissette Rodriguez, Edna McConnellClark Foundation

February 2016

March 2016

Second round of L4G adds 13 nonprofits nominated by nine co-funders.

“Listen4Good buildsa capacity that is essential for transformational impact. We are thrilled that four of our grantees will be participating in this national learning community andusing a tool thatgives them actionable data from the clients they serve.” Elena Marks, Episcopal Health Foundation

March 2016

July 2016

A third round of Listen4Good grants adds 14 nonprofits. Other grants: $2.6-million to 10 organizations to support foundation openness, and nearly $1-million to REDF and Innovations for Poverty Action for research on the link between client feedback and client outcomes.

July 2016

October 2016

Shared Insight joins with the Hewlett Foundation and two special White House offices to host a workshop at the White House to share best practices around client-focused feedback loops in the social sector.

The first Shared Insight Gathering, held in Washington, D.C., brings together 140 funders, grantees, and other participants interested in learning and field-building around feedback.

“Three years after the first White House meeting, we have seen that gathering feedback is not only the right thing to do and the smart thing to do — it is also a feasible thing to do.” Dennis Whittle, Feedback Labs

October 2016

December 2016

BY THE NUMBERS

$17.5M in grants awarded / 138 Grantees / 64 Funders
Cumulative through 2016

December 2016

February 2017

A new publication, “Perceptual Feedback: What’s It All About?” aims to standardize definitions in the growing field of social-sector client feedback.

February 2017

October 2017

The biggest Listen4Good grantee cohort comes aboard: 66 nonprofits supported by 36 co-funders, including three pairs of foundations that collaborate to together nominate grantees. Episcopal Health Foundation nominates seven grantees, bringing its total to 16.

October 2017

November 2017

A report from Harder+Company analyzes more than 29,000 responses to Listen4Good feedback surveys finding evidence that the Net Promoter System works in the nonprofit context and that further analysis is needed.

November 2017

December 2017

BY THE NUMBERS

$21.1M in grants awarded / 184 Grantees / 78 Funders
Cumulative through 2017

December 2017

January 2018

Listen4Good adds 47 grantees supported by 15 co-funders, including one new funder, Sunlight Giving, which nominates 20 nonprofits.

“The insights we gain from this work will strengthen our grantmaking.” Cheryl Chang, Sunlight Giving

January 2018

April 2018

A report from Shared Insight’s learning and evaluation partner ORS Impact examines the collaborative’s first three years.

“Shared Insight has a strong base to build from as it refines its theory of change and continues to support a more effective social sector.” “Evaluating the Accomplishments & Lessons Learned from the First Three Years,” ORS Impact

April 2018

May 2018

The 2018 Shared Insight Gathering, in Houston, brings together more than 350 field-building partners and representatives from nonprofits and funding organizations committed to using feedback loops to better serve their clients.

May 2018

July 2018

An ORS Impact report analyzing outcomes for participating nonprofits in 2016 and 2017 finds that L4G’s feedback process advances organizations’ equity, diversity, andinclusion work.

“L4G has been a central part of the Boston Foundation’s efforts to listen and learn from the communities we serve. Our current work to involve members of our community who have been historically excluded from holding seats of institutional and structural power in resource allocation has roots in the L4G initiative.” Jennifer Aronson, The Boston Foundation

July 2018

August 2018

Stanford Social Innovation Reviewpublishes a case study of Shared Insight, “Funding Feedback.”

August 2018

September 2018

Listen4Good continues to grow with 59 newly selected grantees nominated by 28 co-funders.

“We were excited to see a validated measurement tool, a full feedback-loop system available to us, so that we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. This is a best practice that doesn’t take a lot of resources, just commitment to transparency, trust, and change.” Greg Vandenberg, U.S. Venture/Fox Valley Foundation

September 2018

October 2018

The number of nonprofit clients who have given their feedback through L4G surveyssurpasses 100,000.

Stanford Social Innovation Review kicks off a six-month multimedia series, “The Power of Feedback,” supported by the Hewlett Foundation and featuring the hashtag #FeedbackEmpowers. Among the highlights are nonprofit client Shannon Revels talking on a podcast about the importance of feedback and case studies of Listen4Good-participating organizations, including ECHOS, Nurse-Family Partnership, Our House, and Union Capital Boston.

“This series represents the most comprehensive public discussion around the idea of constituent feedback for the nonprofit sector published to date.” Michael Gordon Voss, Stanford Social Innovation Review

October 2018

December 2018

BY THE NUMBERS

$22.7M in grants awarded / 242 Grantees / 94 Funders
Cumulative through 2018

December 2018

February 2019

Listen4Good unveils its groundbreaking interactive website and invites organizations to participate in a testing program, L4G Online Beta, in preparation for the site’s full launch.

“Our goal is to make Listen4Good’s proven tools and resources available to any nonprofit or government agency that wants to systematically listen to and respond to the people they serve. L4G Online will be a game-changerin the field of client-focused feedback.” Valerie Threlfall, Listen4Good

ORS Impact publishes two reports: “Feedback Field Assessment Findings” and “The 2017 L4G Co-Funder Experience.”

Co-funders are changing feedback practices,” and they are “thinking differently about how their grantees and their foundations can benefit from feedback.” “The 2017 L4G Co-Funder Experience,” ORS Impact

February 2019

March 2019

Listen4Good goes international: Shared Insight partners with AVPN, a funding network in Asia, to pilot Listen4Good in Singapore and Australia.

March 2019

April 2019

An Aspen Institute report, “Meaningfully Connecting with Communities in Advocacy and Policy Work,” informs the discussion around broadening feedback efforts in the social sector beyond direct-service organizations.

April 2019

June 2019

192 nonprofits and government agencies are selected to participate in L4G Online Beta.

June 2019

August 2019

Research grants totaling nearly $1 million go to five organizations studying the relationship between feedback results and client outcomes.

August 2019

October 2019

Shared Insight and Feedback Labs collaborate on the #Feedback4Equity communications campaign.

October 2019

December 2019

BY THE NUMBERS

$26M in grants awarded / 478 Grantees / 112 Funders
Cumulative through 2019

Fifty-one grantees are selected to participate in L4G, supported by 28 co-funders, including a consortium of Pennsylvania grantmakers backing five local nonprofits to create anL4G learning community.

December 2019

May 2020

A virtual learning series kicks off with a webinar for funders that signed philanthropy’s COVID-19 pledge, which included commitments to listening.

May 2020

June 2020

Listen4Good Online+, a streamlined L4G program for organizations to build feedback loops with online support and guidance, is introduced for a subsidized fee of $1,000.

June 2020

August 2020

Grants totaling $1.25-million support the new Funder Listening Community of Practice, seven philanthropy support organizations working collaboratively to develop tools and guides that promote listening.

August 2020

October 2020

Listen4Good’s co-funded grant program announces45 new grantees supported by 35 co-funders, including 22 new to the program.

Listen4Good Online+ announces its first cohort of participants, 41 organizations, some supported by funders, some paying theirown way.

October 2020

December 2020

BY THE NUMBERS

$29.3M in grants awarded / 528 Grantees / 134 Funders
Cumulative through 2020

December 2020

March 2021

The Design Team for Shared Insight’s participatory grantmaking initiative hands guidance to a Grantmaking Group. People with lived expertise around climate change and other issues the grants will be intended to impact and who come from communities historically excluded from decision-making serve on both panels.

March 2021

May 2021

A new resource,“A Funder Action Menu,” offers (updating) examples intended to promote listening and feedback practices.

May 2021

June 2021

Shared Insight receives a grant from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett as part of a cohort that Scott describes as “286 Teams Empowering Voices the World Needs to Hear.”

June 2021

July 2021

Shared Insight adopts equity principles, codifying a commitment to hold equity as an explicit and centered value, priority, and goal.

July 2021

September 2021

A new, three-step toolkit offers funder collaboratives guidance to advance better listening, inclusivity, and equity in their work.

September 2021

October 2021

Consultants in Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, and Tanzania submit landscape scans of the state of the feedback field in their country, offering recommendations about how Shared Insight support might advance listening practices.

October 2021

November 2021

An ORS Impact report, “Feedback and Equity: Connecting the Dots,” says feedback can inform change that advances equity, and that the act of listening itself influences organizational change.


November 2021

December 2021

BY THE NUMBERS

$33.1M in grants awarded / 652 Nonprofit Partners / 134 Funding Partners
Cumulative through 2021

December 2021

January 2022

Shared Insight announces $2-million in grants to 35 organizations selected through a participatory grantmaking initiative exploring power-sharing and policy work around climate change and environmental justice.

Listen4Good welcomes its largest cohort to date, 63 organizations in 14 states participating in Listen4Good’stwo feedback capacity-building programs, Online+and Premium. Ten funders aresponsoring participants.

January 2022

March 2022

Shared Insights adds staff to increase funder outreach and engagement efforts.

March 2022

November 2022

At the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference, Shared Insight introduces findings from its research portfolio linking feedback to better client outcomes.

November 2022

December 2022

BY THE NUMBERS

$34.5M in grants awarded / 778 Nonprofit Partners / 137 Funding Partners
Cumulative through 2022

December 2022

January 2023

Shared Insight launches the second phase of its Funder Listening Community of Practice with an expanded table of philanthropy support organizations (now 12) working to influence funders to adopt high-quality listening practices.

January 2023

April 2023

Shared Insight launches a learning group for evaluation and learning officers to explore how listening and feedback can inform and be integrated into foundations’ evaluation efforts. Shared Insight announces a second learning group for foundation representatives responsible for their organization’s Grantee Perception Report (GPR) feedback loop process.

Listen4Good spins out from Shared Insight to become a freestanding initiative as a fiscally sponsored project of the Tides Center. Shared Insight will continue to work in close partnership with Listen4Good as it brings its high-quality feedback system to a broader audience.

April 2023

May 2023

Shared Insight unveils its new Participatory Philanthropy Toolkit, a resource to help funders design and implement grantmaking programs that can shift and share power. The toolkit is based on first-hand experiences through Shared Insight’s Participatory Climate Initiative.

May 2023