Fund for Shared Insight ("Shared Insight") is a collaborative effort among funders that pools financial and other resources to make grants to improve philanthropy. Shared Insight believes philanthropy can have a greater social and environmental impact if foundations and nonprofits listen to the people they seek to help, act on what they hear, and openly share what they learn.
In early 2015, ORS Impact conducted a baseline assessment to set a bar against which to measure progress over time, as well as to inform near-term decisions based on a deeper understanding of the field's current state. We explored the current state of philanthropic and nonprofit practice related to feedback loops, as well as foundation openness practices through key informant interviews, a media analysis, reviews of foundations' and sector-serving organizations' websites, and use of existing secondary data sources, such as the Center for Effective Philanthropy's report, "Hearing From Those We Seek to Help: Nonprofit Practices and Perspectives in Beneficiary Feedback." Methods are described more fully in Appendix A, as well as the strengths and limitations of each method in Appendix B.
This memo lays out our findings in each area, as well as considerations and implications for Shared Insight going forward. We also lift up a few emergent findings that arose from the data collection process.