Research, Data, & Reports

Understanding & Sharing What Works: The State of Foundation Practice

Publication date: 
November, 2018
The Center for Effective Philanthropy

Assessing the performance of a foundation is notoriously challenging, but it is crucial to learning and improvement. How well do foundation leaders believe they understand what is and isn’t working in their foundation’s programmatic efforts? How are they building that understanding? What information are they choosing to share with others?

To answer these questions, CEP surveyed and conducted in-depth interviews with private and community foundation leaders regarding what they know about what is and isn’t working in their foundations’ efforts to achieve their goals. Based on 119 survey responses and 41 interviews, Understanding & Sharing What Works: The State of Foundation Practiceshares what CEP learned.

The report is accompanied by a series of in-depth profiles, authored by Lowell Weiss of Cascade Philanthropy Advisors, to further examine what foundations are doing to understand and share their work. The profiled funders include Rockefeller Brothers FundWeingart FoundationCommunities Foundation of Texas, and Impetus-PEF.

The data in this report, along with the insights in the profiles, can help foundation leaders determine the best methods for learning from their work and deciding what to be open about.