How Do We Evaluate Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals?

What can we do to effectively evaluate progress towards the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? This was one of the principal questions asked at the recent conference hosted in Guanajuato, Mexico by three international evaluation associations: the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS), the Latin American and Caribbean Monitoring, Evaluation, and Systematization Network (ReLAC), and the Latin American and Caribbean Monitoring and Evaluation Network (REDLACME).

Throughout the three-day conference, which brought together approximately 500 evaluators and evaluation commissioners from 47 different countries, I gathered seven recurring themes posed as answers to this one question. Continue reading

Best Practices in Corporate Citizenship Structures

Companies with strong reputations as corporate citizens are respected for providing value to society in a comprehensive way – through their products and services, their operational excellence, and their support of the community.

As companies face increasing pressure from stakeholders to address complex societal issues, many are developing programs and initiatives with ambitious social impact goals, but often, without the requisite structure to ensure the programs are effective. Continue reading

Be Informed: Developing Content for Media Campaigns

Media campaigns are intended to affect their audiences – such as convincing people not to text and drive, or persuading people to purchase a product or vote for a particular candidate. There are various touchpoints where media can help lead an audience from awareness to action on an issue. Being able to track these touchpoints – and the audiences engaged – enables organizations and media distributors to more efficiently and effectively test their content as well as intelligently move audiences from awareness to action at a faster, more effective rate. Continue reading

Three Ways Foundations Can Navigate Changing Political Tides

Is it on? Is it off? Is it on? Is it off? Our heads are spinning with the series of attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the numerous ways in which both the federal government and state level actors are strategizing to alter and/or erode health policy. In today’s turbulent climate, when shifting political winds and policy changes go hand-in-hand with ever-expanding health care needs across the country, how can health funders be strategically effective?

TCC’s Melinda Fine Ed.D. and Jessica Mowles share three strategic learning processes that will engage foundations and funders during complex times.

Read “Three Ways Foundations Can Navigate Changing Political Tides” on gih.org >

Responding to the Call: How to Pursue Legal Advocacy

Without legal advocacy, many norms and rights that people rely on, may have never been established. School desegregation (argued through Brown v. Board of Education), gay marriage (argued through many cases, but before the Supreme Court as Obergefell v. Hodges), clean water and air (argued at both state and federal levels as a myriad of lawsuits) – all were established as part of a legal advocacy strategy. Continue reading

The Age of the Strategic Follower

A few years ago I was introduced to my now favorite TED Talk: Derek Sivers on “How to start a movement.” In two minutes he explains how a movement starts using some amusing footage of a spontaneous dance group. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth the break. What captivated me was his conclusion—and it wasn’t about the leader.

Rightly, much has been made of the importance of leadership—be it in business, government, nonprofits, or online. In the nonprofit sector, starting with the dooms-day scenario of mass baby-boom retirements that was the rage in the early 2000’s, through today’s steady drumbeat of leadership training and development, leadership is on the minds of philanthropic sector professionals.  Continue reading

What Can Associations of Grantmakers Teach You?

In mid-July of this year, I had the opportunity to attend the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers conference (#ForumCon17) in San Francisco. This conference brings together a large swath of the organizations that provide networking and support functions to foundations across the United States. 

I wanted to share some of my takeaways from time at the conference—some of which relate specifically to the conference and some to the valuable side conversations that happen when you bring smart, passionate people together.  Continue reading

Three Common Questions about Funding Advocacy

Since the 2016 election, my colleagues and I have noticed one of two things: more funders considering a first-time investment in advocacy, or funders strengthening their existing commitment to fund advocacy work. In response to this surge of activity, we’ve had the opportunity to share our findings regarding effective strategies to support advocacy campaigns  – with different groups of funders. These engaging and deliberate conversations generated additional questions – from which we’ll highlight three: Continue reading

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Given the political landscape and increased media coverage around issues of discrimination, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become all the more prevalent in the social sector. This isn’t to say that DEI hasn’t been important in years past—it has. The main difference now is that more organizations in the social sector are holding themselves and being held accountable to exhibiting their practice of DEI principles.

As an evaluator, I have seen varying levels of commitment to using principles of DEI and acknowledge that it is not always an easy or straightforward endeavor. Here are a few clarifying points on how I frame thinking about DEI and some guiding questions to discuss when thinking about incorporating DEI in your work: Continue reading

6 Ways Family Foundations Can Make A Difference in Immigrant and Refugee Lives

With all the changes in the political climate over the past year, I’ve been especially concerned for immigrants and refugees. Many families in my city and community have been affected by the new executive orders and administrative actions, and I’ve read stories about many others across the country that are at risk. This can feel overwhelming when I think about the impact on people I know. The issues we’re dealing with are daunting and complex; it makes me wonder how I can be most helpful.  

You may believe that it would take massive investment to have even a minor impact in this climate. But the truth is, we can all make a difference. Family foundations are no exception.

TCC’s Naomi Polin shares the six essentials for family foundations to have when supporting immigrant and refugee communities. 

Read “6 Ways Family Foundations Can Make A Difference in Immigrant and Refugee Lives” on ncfp.org>