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1 Do Nothing About Me Without Me An Action Guide for Engaging Stakeholders BY J. COURTNEY BOURNS

2 Do Nothing About Me Without Me Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a community of more than 350 grantmakers challenging the status quo in their fi eld to help grantees achieve more. Understanding An Action Guide for that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes Engaging Stakeholders strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success. By J. Courtney Bourns More information on GEO and a host of resources and links for grantmakers are available at www.geofunders.org. GEO and IISC would like to thank the following 1725 DeSales Street NW, Suite 404 Washington, DC 20036 individuals for their feedback on this publication: tel: 202.898.1840 fax: 202.898.0318 Kristin Lindsey, Council on Foundations 3 web: www.geofunders.org Mary Mountcastle, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation 3 and Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation Mark Sedway, Philanthropy Awareness Initiative 3 3 Luz Vega-Marquis, Marguerite Casey Foundation 3 Alandra Washington, W.K. Kellogg Foundation The mission of Interaction Institute for Social Change is to Eyal Yerushalmi, The Atlantic Philanthropies 3 ignite and sustain social transformation, catalyze collective action and build collaborative skill to bring alive our vision of a just and sustainable world. IISC accomplishes this by providing network-building, consulting, facilitation, leadership development and training services designed to transform communities, schools and organizations and build the capacity of leaders of social change. 625 Mt. Auburn Street Cambridge, MA 02138 tel: 617.234.2750 web: www.interactioninstitute.org © 2010 Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. This publication may not be reproduced without permission. To obtain permission, contact GEO at 202.898.1840 or [email protected] This publication is available in electronic format at www.geofunders.org.

3 INTRODUCTION If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. — AFRICAN PROVERB In the course of transforming itself to better support community well-being in Raymond John Wean Foundation expanded a board Ohio’s Mahoning Valley, the that once was typical of family foundations into one that represents a diverse mix of community voices. The Durfee Foundation in Santa Monica, Calif., consistently relies on former grantees to help decide which individuals and projects to fund today. Triangle Community Foundation The launched its Community Grantmaking ts that the Durham, N.C., grantmaker Program in 2007 after hearing from nonprofi was perceived as too closed off from the surrounding community. These foundations are part of a growing movement in philanthropy — a movement founded on the belief that grantmakers are more effective to the extent that they meaningfully engage their grantees and other key stakeholders. Grantmakers doing this work have arrived at an understanding that much of the knowledge and experience they need to solve the problems they want to solve, and to help them do a better job as grantmakers, resides in the communities they serve. This is in keeping with an important core value that has long been held by many in the nonprofi t sector — that people need to play an active role in addressing the issues that affect their lives. This underlying value is captured by the phrase that has been made visible by the disability rights movement in recent years: “Nothing about me without me.” “We want to be an accessible, innovative and open foundation that is supportive of and involved with the community,” said Community Program Offi cer Robyn Fehrman of the Triangle Community Foundation. Although many grantmakers are making signifi cant changes in their practices toward working in genuine partnership with their grantees and community partners, the perception persists today that foundations operate in ways that exclude, rather than engage, key stakeholders. GEO believes the reasons for this perception | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 1

4 include a lack of knowledge about the benefi ts of this type of engagement and a lack of skill to do it well. This action guide seeks to provide both the knowledge and skills required to support this emerging practice in philanthropy. The goals of this action guide are to 1. defi ne stakeholder engagement as it applies to the work of grantmakers, make the case that engaging grantees and other relevant stakeholders in 2. strategy development and grantmaking practices leads to improved results, provide grantmakers with a variety of options for engaging stakeholders and 3. steps for doing so, and 4. offer examples of the different ways grantmakers are engaging stakeholders engagement has on their grantmaking. and the positive impact that stakeholder Grantmakers are uniquely positioned to catalyze creative problem solving in the communities they serve. This guide shares the stories of pioneering grantmakers who already are busy engaging the knowledge and passion of their grantees and community members. We hope that the tools and frameworks provided here will enable many others to join these leaders. Author’s Note: We are grateful to our colleagues at the Interaction Institute for Social Change for contributing their expertise to GEO during the Change Agent Project that laid the foundation for this work. We appreciate their ongoing partnership and the invaluable contribution of IISC’s collaborative toolkit, which supports GEO’s efforts to expand this area of practice for grantmakers. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 2

5 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION MASTER THE BASICS 4 What is stakeholder engagement in philanthropy? To what extent do grantmakers value external input on their strategy and practices? 5 7 How is this topic related to concerns about diversity and equity in philanthropy? . . . 10 Perspectives on Engagement 12 Levels of Stakeholder Engagement MAKE THE CASE 14 Why is stakeholder engagement important for grantmakers? What are the key benefi ts? 17 What are the risks of not engaging stakeholders? MAKE IT WORK 18 How can we determine the right way to engage stakeholders? How can we determine who should be involved? 19 20 How can we determine how to involve our stakeholders? 23 How will we know that we did it well? CONCLUSION GRANTMAKER CASE STUDIES 26 Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation 27 Ontario Trillium Foundation 28 Durfee Foundation 29 The Bank of America Charitable Foundation 30 Saint Luke’s Foundation 31 Marguerite Casey Foundation | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 3

6 Master the Basics Involving a wider audience of individuals and 3 WHAT IS STAKEHOLDER organizations in philanthropic decision making. ENGAGEMENT IN PHILANTHROPY? Nothing says that grantmakers have to make Stakeholder engagement is the art and science of grantmaking decisions on their own. In fact, many becoming more connected as a grantmaker. It is based grantmakers are engaging “outsiders” in their on the belief that those closest to a problem have decision-making processes as a way to increase important insights that will help shape solutions. transparency and trust, and to ensure that their Stakeholder engagement means the following: ects real-world priorities and needs. grantmaking refl Reaching beyond the usual suspects for information 3 Of course, stakeholder engagement does not mean and ideas. Grantmakers often turn to technical reaching out to anyone and everyone. Rather, the focus experts, academics, business leaders and paid ected by your is on those audiences that are most aff consultants for advice. Including other stakeholders er insights organization’s grantmaking and that can off as well will yield better results. Community residents, and information that will strengthen your work. grantee leaders and staff , and others who are aff ected by grantmakers’ decisions can provide a front-row GEO’s research on this topic suggests there are two take on the problems at the heart of your work and groups of stakeholders whom philanthropy often how to shape solutions. overlooks but whose input can contribute in a signifi cant way to smarter grantmaking and better 3 Listening and applying new learning about how to t leaders (including leaders ey are (1) nonprofi results. Th strengthen your grantmaking. Grantmakers need to ts that your of grantee organizations and nonprofi know whether their grantmaking and the way they organization does fund); and (2) local residents and not ts, communities and do their work is helping nonprofi grassroots leaders in the communities you serve. movements to succeed. Th e only way to know is to ask and listen, and then to make changes based on Ron Hanft of the Funding Exchange observed, what you’re hearing from grantees and others. “Academics and others can be useful and bring important perspectives to the table, but the people who know how to make things happen in their communities are those who are based in those communities.” | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 4

7 TO WHAT EXTENT DO GRANTMAKERS VALUE EXTERNAL INPUT ON THEIR Who Are a Grantmaker’s STRATEGY AND PRACTICES? Stakeholders? Although a growing number of grantmakers are involving stakeholders as a route to better results, research shows that : The actions of your Internal stakeholders 3 taking active steps in this direction still is not common board and staff are crucial to the success of your grantmaking. To the extent that they e following are fi practice in the fi eld. Th ndings from are engaged and supportive of your work ed GEO’s 2008 survey of the attitudes and practices of staff and mission, you will be more successful. grantmaking foundations in the United States: 3 Grantees : Grantees can help you learn how Priorities Grantmaker your philanthropy is or is not contributing to success at the organizational, movement 3 A slim majority of grantmakers (54 percent) indicated it or community level and how to become a ective grantmaking that their is “very important” for eff smarter grantmaker. organizations solicit outside advice. A frequent complaint 3 Grantmaker peers: A similar proportion (52 percent) said it is “very 3 about philanthropy is that grantmakers are important” to collaborate with external groups and constantly reinventing the wheel in their organizations. work with grantees. Engaging with other grantmakers helps ensure that you are Grantmaker Practices sharing lessons learned and not repeating 3 Only 36 percent of grantmakers in the GEO survey said others’ mistakes. they seek advice from a grantee advisory committee about : Ultimately, Local community members 3 policies, priorities, practices or program areas. most grantmakers are looking to improve outcomes at the community level, An equal proportion (36 percent) took even the most 3 whether the issue is poverty reduction minimal step of soliciting feedback (anonymous or or environmental cleanup. Engaging nonanonymous) from grantees through surveys, interviews the people you intend to help or the 1 or focus groups. representatives of the communities you e lack of genuine stakeholder engagement by grantmakers Th serve is essential to learning how you’re leads to frayed relationships with grantees and communities. doing as a grantmaker. Th is was a key fi nding of GEO’s Change Agent Project, 3 Thought leaders / experts: Academics which was designed in partnership with the Interaction and policy and other experts can provide ts and Institute for Social Change to engage nonprofi important information and insights about grantmakers to identify ways in which philanthropy can best what’s happening in your priority funding t results. support nonprofi areas, who’s doing what, and what works. But their infl uence should not exceed that t focus groups convened for the Change During nonprofi of the “real experts” whose lives and work Agent Project, participants repeatedly noted that the “power are directly affected by grantmaker actions. erential” between foundations and grantees leads to diff counterproductive relationships and sometimes can stand in the way of grantee success. 1 Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter? A National Study of Philanthropic Practice ective Organizations, Grantmakers for Eff , 2008. Available at www.geofunders.org. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 5

8 e following are some of the comments we heard Th ts: from nonprofi What are grantmakers ere is a need for a safe space for a dynamic relationship “ Th doing to engage grantees so that grantees are not punished for giving feedback to a funder.” and other relevant “ Th ts ere are no opportunities for funders and nonprofi stakeholders to inform to come together to talk about these issues.” their work? “ Th ts e relationship between funders and nonprofi cial.” is superfi 14% Delegated funding decision-making power to representatives of recipient It is not just foundation grantees that lack a sense communities or grantees that they are working toward a common cause with grantmakers. According to polling conducted by Harris Sought advice from a grantee 36% Interactive for the Philanthropy Awareness Initiative, advisory committee about policies, 2 infl uential community leaders show a limited priorities, practices or program areas understanding of the work of grantmakers. 48% Sought external input on grant proposals from representatives of Only 15 percent of community leaders in the survey recipient communities or grantees could give an example of a foundation benefi ting their community, and just 11 percent could give an example Invited grantees to address board 56% of a foundation’s impact on an issue they care about. members occasionally or often rm that too many grantmakers Th e survey results affi 59% Brought together funders and do their work in isolation from the communities grantees to discuss matters of 3 they serve. mutual interest Jeanne Kracher, executive director of Chicago’s 61% Assessed the needs of the Crossroads Fund, said the lack of stakeholder eld(s) the communities or fi engagement in philanthropy stems in part from foundation serves (e.g., through surveys, interviews or focus groups) foundations forgetting their public purpose: Too many grantmakers lose sight of the fact that their resources are Attended grantee events 88% public resources. (e.g., fund-raisers or performances) e best practice is to think of yourself as serving “Th 90% Staff conducted site visits the public good — and to do that you need some Met with grantee leaders to learn 90% way to know what the public good is,” she said. Th is more about mutual issues and trends knowledge is not available to a foundation working in from the leaders’ perspectives isolation, Kracher added. Rather, foundations need to do more to ask the public how philanthropy can best be of service to communities and nonprofi ts. Is Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Source: Grantmaking Getting Smarter? A National Study of Philanthropic Practice, 2008. 2 leadership, committee or board-level role for an ned as individuals who during the last year have held a staff uential community leaders were defi Infl f the U.S. adult population organization working on community or social issues. Harris Interactive estimates that these individuals constitute 12 percent o cantly more engaged than the general public. and are signifi 3 cit: Results from Survey of Engaged Americans,” 2008. Available at Philanthropy Awareness Initiative, “Philanthropy’s Awareness Defi www.philanthropyawareness.org. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 6

9 Foundation said, “We need diversity not simply An increased focus on accountability to the public to refl ect the movements we fund, but to and on serving the public good can help a grantmaker understand them.” be more responsive to community and stakeholder needs. Many community foundations, for example, are Authors Mary Ellen Capek and Molly Mead expanded governed by diverse boards and include community Eff on this idea in their book, ective Philanthropy: members in their grantmaking decisions because rough Deep Diversity and ectiveness Th Organizational Eff ect the broader community those decisions need to refl 4 Gender Equality. e book advocates a commitment to Th interest. Th is type of community orientation can help “deep diversity” among grantmakers, not simply because make sure that they are serving the all grantmakers ect it’s the right thing to do but because it has a direct eff public good, not as they defi ne it themselves but as it on a foundation’s ability to help nonprofi ts succeed. is defi ned by people with a fi rsthand understanding of “If foundations ... do not have in their boardrooms or what’s happening at the grassroots level. on senior staff people like those they are funding and HOW IS THIS TOPIC RELATED TO t of diverse perspectives engrained into lack the benefi their organizations, these ‘shallow diversity’ foundations CONCERNS ABOUT DIVERSITY AND do long-term thinking and goal-setting that are seldom EQUITY IN PHILANTHROPY? strategic or eff ective,” Capek and Mead wrote. “Th ey Any serious conversation about how grantmakers ne the broadest range of lack the capacity to defi can and should engage a broad range of stakeholders problems they are attempting to solve.” inevitably touches on issues of diversity, equity and power. When grantmakers weigh strategies for Organizations that operate with inclusion, justice and including more “outside” voices in philanthropic equity as core values are better positioned to identify decision making, one of the crucial questions they and include those who need to be involved in their must consider is which important stakeholder groups work, balance those perspectives, and incorporate traditionally have been left out of the process that stakeholder ideas into their decision making. Inclusive grantmakers use to make their decisions. organizational cultures foster empathy for those served, exibility in the design and maintain dialogue and fl Grantmakers have many viewpoints and experiences to ective implementation of strategy, and are self-refl consider as they think about how to address inequities (i.e., they are always considering how they can do a ey will inevitably and engage diverse stakeholders. Th better job addressing stakeholder needs and concerns). face new and challenging conversations that come with greater diversity. It is not the intent of this publication Kristin Lindsey, the chief operating offi cer of the to treat this aspect of stakeholder engagement in detail. Council on Foundations and previously a consultant However, grantmakers will benefi t to the extent that to foundations on diversity issues, explored the idea ese they keep a few foundational concepts in mind. Th of inclusive organizations in a 2005 article for the concepts include the following: Neighborhood Funders Group. Inclusive organizations, Lindsey wrote, “diligently seek, value and use diverse Diversity provides capacity to engage and perspectives and relationships to enhance their Many grantmakers are learning that understand. understanding, develop and implement strategies, and embracing diversity and including varying viewpoints erences are respected, insights make decisions. Diff can be far more eff ective than operating behind closed 5 deepen, power is shared.” doors. As one representative of the Jessie Smith Noyes 4 , Mary Ellen Capek and Molly Mead, Eff ective Philanthropy: Organizational Eff ectiveness Th rough Deep Diversity and Gender Equality Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006. 5 , Kristin Lindsey, “Redefi ning Eff ectiveness: Putting Diversity Where It Belongs,” NFG Reports: Th e Newsletter of the Neighborhood Funders Group Summer 2005. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 7

10 erential. Diversity helps address the power diff Grantmakers and nonprofi ts sometimes point to Thought Leaders and erential between their organizations to a power diff explain why having open and honest dialogue is Key Initiatives on Diversity, cult. Although stakeholder engagement generally diffi Inclusion and Equity is a way to build those relationships, stakeholder ers an added engagement with a diversity lens off A number of groups are delving deeper opportunity to address the imbalances of power created into issues of diversity and equity in the and perpetuated by deep-rooted social, political and economic issues. By including those who are most fi eld, including the following: ected by the problems grantmakers are trying to aff The Diversity in Philanthropy Project solve, philanthropy can strengthen the ability of these was a three-year “voluntary campaign that key stakeholders to play an active role in how their engaged foundation trustees, senior staff and communities develop and prosper. executives committed to increasing fi eld-wide In this sense, grantmaking with diversity at its core diversity through open dialogue and strategic is not just about acknowledging the existence of action.” As DPP came to a close, a coalition of inequities; it’s about changing the way we think about leading philanthropy infrastructure networks whose judgment matters and how we share control of ve-year and organizations committed to a fi and responsibility for our work. Some grantmakers collaborative effort — called D5 — to galvanize go beyond their grantees to include nongrantees and philanthropy’s work on diversity, inclusion and equity. Founding partners include the Council community members, incorporating people who are the on Foundations, the Joint Affi nity Groups, ciaries of philanthropic investments, in ultimate benefi seven regional associations of grantmakers, an eff ort to ensure broader engagement. the Foundation Center, and Diversity For grantmakers, it can Not being inclusive is risky. Focused Funds, represented by Rockefeller be risky to have those who are privileged or removed Philanthropy Advisors. D5 envisions an inclusive from the direct experience of discrimination and philanthropic sector in which foundations draw poverty making decisions on behalf of people who on the power of diverse staffs and boards are experiencing those issues. Decision makers who to achieve lasting impact, forge genuine are not directly connected to the challenges facing partnerships with diverse communities, and disadvantaged communities likely will have gaps in increase access to opportunities and resources worldview and experience that ultimately can lead to for all people. ective or failed programs, broken relationships and ineff www.diversityinphilanthropy.org community disengagement. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 8

11 In the publication “Building on a Better Foundation: A Toolkit for Creating an Inclusive Grantmaking The Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity 6 the authors note that a group with Organization,” is a multiyear project intended to “increase the erences in race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual diff amount and effectiveness of resources aimed orientation, class background, physical ability, at combating institutional and structural racism philosophy and viewpoint makes for “a rich community in communities through capacity building, of opinion and skills that a homogeneous grouping education, and convening of grantmakers and board cannot begin to match.” Building a staff and grantseekers.” Its newest publication, with people of diverse backgrounds is one way that “Catalytic Change: Lessons Learned From ll those gaps in worldview. Other grantmakers fi the Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment,” grantmakers seek to ensure diversity in grantee shares lessons from the pilot assessment within two foundations in Washington, D.C., and selection, philanthropic decision-making structures and Boston. www.racialequity.org internal contracting practices. Discussions of power and equity in philanthropy are Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has ndings on conducted research and presented fi ere is a great deal to be complex and can be daunting. Th eld in a series of the state of diversity in the fi learned, and many foundations wonder where to begin. reports. Its most recent publication, “Diversity Adopting a more inclusive approach to grantmaking in Action: Strategies With Impact,” produced can start with something as simple as making a in partnership with the Council on Foundations commitment to seek and act on the input of diverse and the Forum of Regional Associations of stakeholders while setting your organization’s agenda. ections of six Grantmakers, features the refl Th is commitment can include changes as signifi cant as foundation CEOs and trustees on the impact expanding the organization’s board and staff to better of diversity and inclusiveness efforts in their refl ect the communities served or delegating authority organizations. www.rockpa.org to grantmaking committees with diverse representation. Joint Affi is a coalition of six nity Groups Th e foundational concepts about stakeholder identity-focused grantmaker associations engagement presented in this guide provide a few good that “engages the fi eld of philanthropy to places to start addressing these issues. In future eff orts, reach its full potential by supporting diversity, GEO hopes to work with our partners to take a more inclusiveness and the principles of social justice in-depth look at issues of diversity, inclusion and equity and promoting a more equitable distribution and to explore how grantmakers can add that diversity of resources.” In 2007, JAG held a National orts in stakeholder engagement. lens to their eff Unity Summit to encourage strategic thinking that challenges the way grantmakers work, build new partnerships and collaborations, and identify best practices that can support eld. In 2010, JAG's a change agenda in the fi current six members will launch JAG 2.0, creating opportunities for other affi nity groups that share their mission to join their collaboration. www.jointaffi nitygroups.org 6 Donors Forum of Chicago, Minnesota Council on Foundations, Northern California Grantmakers and Philanthropy New York, “Building on a Better Foundation: A Toolkit for Creating an Inclusive Grantmaking Organization,” 2001. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 9

12 Perspectives on Engagement In recent years, many leading thinkers have made compelling cases for engagement from a variety of starting points and perspectives. Here are a few: Engagement and adaptive leadership. According to Ronald A. Heifetz, addressing complex social problems requires “adaptive leadership,” which is founded in part on learning with and from others about the nature of the problems and what it might take to solve them. Heifetz explained further in a 2004 article he cowrote in the Stanford Social Innovation Review : “The stakeholders themselves must create and put the solution into effect since the problem is rooted in their attitudes, priorities and 7 behavior. And until the stakeholders change their outlook, a solution cannot emerge.” Heifetz is cofounder of Cambridge Leadership Associates and founder of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School. For more information on adaptive leadership, see www.cambridge-leadership.com . Human-centered design. rm IDEO believe The design experts at the consulting fi organizations must develop a deep and intuitive understanding of client and customer needs in order to create “human-centered” products and services. In the course of its work, IDEO increasingly is applying its “design thinking” approach to develop solutions to social and environmental problems. According to the IDEO Web site, design thinking is “an inherently shared approach [that] brings together people from different disciplines to effectively explore new ideas — ideas that are more human- centered, that are better able to be executed, and that generate valuable new outcomes.” For more information, see . www.ideo.com Dev Patnaik, founder and principal of Jump Associates and Embracing empathy. Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread coauthor of Empathy , says that grantmakers can learn a great deal from leading companies such as Nike that work hard to develop a gut sense of their customers’ interests and needs. In remarks given at GEO’s 2010 national conference he said, “The ability to empathize and have a gut connection to the people you serve allows an organization to do truly transformative work.” For more information on Patnaik and his perspectives on empathy, see www.jumpassociates.com . 7 Ronald A. Heifetz, John V. Kania and Mark R. Kramer, “Leading Boldly: Foundations Can Move Past Traditional Approaches to Creat e Social Change Th rough Imaginative – and Even Controversial – Leadership,” Stanford Social Innovation Review , Winter 2004, p. 25.

13 Participatory evaluation. Catlin Fulwood is a longtime activist, teacher and evaluation expert who has worked with numerous organizations and movements to advance participatory approaches to evaluation and program design. In an overview of participatory evaluation research, she wrote: “[W]e are not just talking about feedback. We are talking about ownership — ownership of the questions, the process of data 8 ndings.” collection, the analysis and the application of the fi Fulwood’s writings on the topic are collected on the Web site of the Girl’s Best Friend Foundation. For more information, see www.girlsbestfriend.org/partic_eval_research.htm . A 2008 W.K. Kellogg Foundation report described how Innovation and collaboration. collaboration and engagement can contribute to innovation in philanthropy. Among the authors’ words of advice to grantmakers: “Forget the normal boundaries and bring elds and disciplines to work together together talented people from a wide variety of fi and cross-fertilize. Look both inside and outside your existing organization for new types of innovation partnerships.” For the full report, Intentional Innovation: How Getting More Systematic About Innovation Could Improve Philanthropy and Increase Social Impact , see www.wkkf.org . The networked organization. Effective stakeholder engagement is founded on the idea that organizations operate within networks of other organizations (and people) that share a set of values or goals. Networks are made up of nodes and links, with nodes being those organizations and individuals that are collectively doing the work, and links referring to the relationships among them. Stakeholder engagement is about strengthening the links between people and organizations so that the network can achieve its goals more effectively and effi ciently. Jane Wei-Skillern and Sonia Marciano explored the idea of the “networked nonprofi Stanford Social t” in a 2008 article in the 9 Innovation Review . One of the key resources on networked organizations on the Web is . www.netage.com 8 Catlin Fulwood, “Participatory Evaluation Research: An Overview.” Available at www.girlsbestfriend.org/partic_eval_research.htm . 9 Jane Wei-Skillern and Sonia Marciano, “Th e Networked Nonprofi t,” Stanford Social Innovation Review , Spring 2008, p. 40.

14 Levels of Stakeholder Engagement The key to successful stakeholder engagement, according to IISC’s Executive Director Marianne Hughes, is to seek the “maximum involvement appropriate to the situation.” Involvement therefore begins with defi ning which decision or decisions need to be made and then who should participate in making them. ed four levels of stakeholder engagement as follows. Grantmakers should consider IISC has identifi the advantages and disadvantages of working at each level, given the situation you face and your goals. A fallback level should be established as a backstop if the decision cannot be reached within the specifi ed time period. DELEGATE DECISION FALLBACK WITH CONSTRAINTS CONSENSUS FALLBACK GATHER INPUT LEVEL OF OWNERSHIP DECIDE AND ANNOUNCE LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 12

15 Decide and announce — The grantmaker makes a decision with little or no input from important stakeholders. The grantmaker then announces the decision to those who will be affected and explains the rationale. Questions to determine when this is the right approach: Does your interest in making a quick decision and being in control of that decision outweigh 3 the importance of reaching out for input? 3 Are you prepared to deal with possible blowback from those you have not consulted? — The grantmaker asks key stakeholders for input (ideas, suggestions, information). Gather input The grantmaker then makes a decision. Questions to determine when this is the right approach: 3 Do you have the time and the resources to gather input and to include all whom you want to include? 3 Is it clear who the key stakeholders are? And is the group large enough to refl ect a diversity of opinion and input, without becoming unmanageable? To what extent do you intend to use the feedback you gather to inform your decision making? 3 Consensus — A consensus decision is one that each and every member of a group is willing to support and help implement. All key stakeholders have been given an opportunity to voice their opinion and to understand the implications of various options. Questions to determine when this is the right approach: 3 Are you prepared to give up your decision-making authority to the group? 3 Do you have the time and resources to devote to a true consensus process? 3 Do participants have the collaborative skills needed to reach consensus? 3 Do you have a plan B in case the group does not reach consensus? — The grantmaker defi nes the decision in the form of Delegate decision with constraints a question or questions, clarifi es the constraints on the decision (e.g., budget, time frame, quality requirements), and delegates the decision to others. The grantmaker does not alter the decision as long as it adheres to the constraints. Questions to determine when this is the right approach: 3 Are you prepared to give up your decision-making authority to the group? 3 Do you have time to enable others to go through the process of making their decision? Do participants have the information, the skills and the expertise they need to make 3 a good decision? | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 13

16 Make the Case lacked the broad-based, ground-level understanding WHY IS STAKEHOLDER that the foundation gained by engaging with hundreds ENGAGEMENT IMPORTANT FOR of individuals and organizations involved in its Cherish GRANTMAKERS? WHAT ARE THE Every Child initiative (see case study, page 26). KEY BENEFITS? ese are hard problems to solve,” said Hughes of “Th ective solutions require the engagement of those Eff the issues at the heart of many grantmaker missions. ected by the problems a grantmaker is who are most aff “Involving multiple stakeholders isn’t a ‘nice-to-do’ but is engagement may take added working to address. Th a ‘must-do’ if you really want to get a handle on what’s time and eff ort, but by involving others in meaningful happening, what the toughest problems are, and how to ways, a grantmaker can potentially save time and be innovative in developing solutions.” increase impact as a project or initiative moves forward. e grantmaker’s investments Among the reasons: Th Truer sense of grantee needs and challenges. ect actual grantee and community needs and will refl Grantmakers can learn a lot by listening more intently concerns, and there will be less resistance to change and to their grantees, by creating opportunities for greater buy-in among those whose support is essential ts to share their challenges and perspectives, nonprofi to success. and by ensuring that the grantee voice guides their e bottom line: It’s hard to know philanthropic work. Th e following are among the key benefi ts that Th what grantees truly need, and how to meet those needs grantmakers can realize by engaging more directly with ectively, if you don’t ask. more eff external constituencies: t of grantee e most obvious and important benefi Th Deeper understanding of problems. Grantmakers and engagement for grantmakers is a better sense of what their nonprofi t partners are working to address complex kinds of support nonprofi ts need in order to be ere are no easy answers when it comes to problems. Th successful. Maybe grantees are struggling with reducing poverty, improving health care and education, ow problems, or maybe they’re unable to invest cash-fl or addressing other social issues. development because of too in technology or in staff Th e Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation could many restricted program grants. have crafted its own plan for improving the life eld, Mass., without any chances of children in Springfi community input. But the resulting plan would have | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 14

17 ectiveness. Greater eff GEO’s 2008 national survey Th e Saint Luke’s Foundation in Cleveland initiated found that foundations that have staff with nonprofi t nd out how an outreach eff ort in 2007 and 2008 to fi cantly more likely to have experience were signifi grantees were faring amid the economic crisis and what “grantee-friendly” practices in place in areas ranging kinds of additional support they might require. Based from soliciting grantee feedback to providing the types on the survey results, the foundation is considering of support that will most contribute to grantee success. a range of new and expanded activities to respond to For example, these foundations were: grantee needs. In 2010, the foundation launched a cally aimed at funding grantmaking program specifi 3 twice as likely to support grantee capacity building projects that enhance organizations’ marketing and and nearly three times more likely to directly support communications capacity. Another area of focus the grantee leadership development, foundation is exploring, according to President and 3 more than three times as likely to solicit anonymous CEO Denise San Antonio Zeman, is using a portion feedback from grantees and more than fi ve times of the foundation’s assets to help meet the credit needs as likely to solicit nonanonymous feedback from of grantees. grantees, and Improved strategy. A 2009 study by the Center for more than twice as likely to ensure application 3 ed a clear link between ective Philanthropy identifi Eff requirements were proportionate to the size and type foundation leaders being more strategic and higher of grants. levels of stakeholder engagement. ese data should come as no surprise. People who Th According to the authors, “More strategic leaders are ts have a hard-earned sense have worked at nonprofi more externally oriented in their decision-making, of what these organizations need in order to succeed. looking outside of their foundations. When thinking At the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation in about how to make decisions to achieve their goals, cers Washington, D.C., for example, most program offi they look beyond the foundation’s internal processes have served as nonprofi t executive directors. for budgeting or grantee selection. ... [Th ey] seek input from grantees, stakeholders, benefi ciaries, and “Th at changes the culture here because we’ve all been 10 consultants when developing their strategies.” on the other side and we know how it is,” said the foundation's Director of Programs Rick Moyers. An example of a grantmaker that has used engagement as a platform for developing better strategy is the Durfee Foundation in California. After listening to former grantees of a program through which one-time ts, the foundation grants were given to young nonprofi decided to launch the Springboard Program to provide t leaders multiyear grants and assign seasoned nonprofi ts. to mentoring relationships with newer nonprofi “We convened a group and asked if they were designing ts, what would they a program to help newer nonprofi do?” said Carrie Avery, president of the foundation’s board. “And they said having experienced mentors would be an enormous boost.” 10 ective Philanthropy, 2009. Ellie Buteau, Phil Buchanan and Andrea Brock, “Essentials of Foundation Strategy,” Center for Eff | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 15

18 More accountability and transparency. One of the main criticisms of organized philanthropy — from Why Don’t More nonprofi ts, government and public activists — is that it remains a mysterious process. Grantmakers make key Grantmakers Do This Work? decisions behind closed doors, they don’t communicate “It’s easier doing things the way we do 3 well about those decisions, and it’s hard for outsiders to Many grantmakers are stuck in them now.” ectively. judge whether they are doing their work eff their status quo relationships with grantees When the Triangle Community Foundation launched and others; it’s hard to contemplate creating opportunities for stakeholders to its Community Grantmaking Program in 2007, it become more empowered and involved. made a commitment to openness and engagement. However, what these grantmakers don’t Brian Buzby, executive director of the North Carolina consider is that their grantmaking could Conservation Network, said the Community become more effective to the extent that Grantmaking Program makes it “a lot clearer” how to they engage in new ways with a wider array engage with the foundation as a grantee. “For years, it of people. ts to understand how to navigate was hard for nonprofi ectively in the community foundation world, and eff 3 “We like experts.” Many grantmakers here is a program with a clear roadmap where the whole work with consultants and academics who bring their valuable knowledge process is done in a low-pressure way.” and expertise to bear on the challenges Just as a corporation seeks input Increased buy-in. facing grantees and communities. But from customers on new products in development, other experts are out there, including the nd solutions grantmakers need stakeholder input to fi people whose work and lives are directly most likely to take hold in the community. In the same affected by your grantmaking. And their way that a new product needs a loyal base of customers, perspectives can prove as enlightening the success or failure of any change agenda depends and instructive for grantmakers as on a wide assortment of people and organizations, anyone else’s. especially those who are engaged in this work on the “It takes too much time and effort.” 3 front lines of their communities every day. Program staff already are working hard. The perception is that their workloads are “At IISC, we have a slogan that’s been with us for years not conducive to added work like this. But of doing stakeholder engagement work — it is often stakeholder engagement can actually save necessary to ‘go slow to go fast,’” Hughes said. “While time and make staff jobs more rewarding high levels of engagement take more time on the front by providing an opportunity to manage end, when the time comes to implement solutions, grants and programs that have broader things move quickly because everyone is aligned toward support among grantees and communities a common direction and committed to the outcome.” and that foster genuine relationships. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 16

19 WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF NOT ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS? Th ere are countless stories of grantmaking initiatives that have failed to deliver a promised result. When grantmakers dig deeper to determine what went wrong, they often arrive at a common explanation: Engagement matters. Perhaps the foundation didn’t have the right people on board at the right time. Perhaps too much distrust among the individuals and organizations involved prevented the players from working toward a common cause. Perhaps the foundation already decided on a strategy before launching a series of community meetings to tell the community what the strategy was. Perhaps the strategy was based too much on academic models and not on genuine input from people working on the ground. When a $20 million William and Flora Hewlett Foundation initiative designed to improve the standard of living in three Bay Area communities fell disappointingly short of expectations, the grantmaker commissioned two independent researchers to take a critical look at its assumptions and methodologies and to identify lessons to be learned. Among the researchers’ key fi ndings was that the grantmaker did not do enough to develop “healthy, trustful relationships” among all stakeholders, especially neighborhood residents. Th e researchers suggested that an important lesson from the initiative was the importance of tapping residents’ “indigenous knowledge.” | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 17

20 Make It Work HOW CAN WE DETERMINE CONTENT AND KEY STAKEHOLDERS THE RIGHT WAY TO ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS? DEFINITION PATHWAY CURRENT Successful stakeholder engagement requires SITUATION OF SUCCESS TO ACTION (THE PROCESS) grantmakers to think about their goals for the process, whom they want to involve, and how. “It’s not a matter ese of ‘hail, hail, the gang’s all here,’” Hughes said. “Th How We Get From Where We Where We eff orts need to be guided by an elegant design and Here to There Are Now Want to Be a good process for ensuring that you’re not wasting people’s time.” Source: Interaction Institute for Social Change Indeed, poorly designed stakeholder engagement strategies can do more harm than good by setting nes the e “current situation” in the diagram defi Th expectations among grantees that the grantmaker issue or opportunity needing attention or requiring can’t meet. nition of success” is the goal or action. Th e “defi desired outcome of the change or improvement eff ort. Grantmakers considering any grantmaking activity (Success can be measured across three dimensions; see should start out by clarifying their goals and then page 23 for more detail.) Th e “pathway to action” is the charting a “pathway to action” that will get them to process used to move from the current situation to the where they want to be. Th e following circle–arrow– desired future. circle diagram provides a general framework for planning and problem solving. Because stakeholder involvement is a key component to ensuring success of any grantmaking strategy, engagement activities should be used at all stages. Grantmakers need grantee and community input to better understand the current state of aff airs and more broadly envision the future. Key stakeholders can also help grantmakers more insightfully develop a pathway to action and ensure successful implementation. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 18

21 3 Do they have the time, the skills and the resources to HOW CAN WE DETERMINE WHO participate in an active way? SHOULD BE INVOLVED? e key to successful stakeholder engagement, Th Have we included people who can be viewed as 3 11 according to Hughes, is to seek the “maximum connectors in the community or the network in involvement appropriate to the situation.” Involvement which we are operating? ning which decision or therefore begins with defi 3 Have we included organizations that can be viewed decisions need to be made and then who should 12 as hubs within the community or network in which participate in making them. we are operating? As described above, the realm of likely stakeholders 3 Have we sought out unusual voices and diverse in a grantmaker’s work will include the following: perspectives? 3 Internal stakeholders orts to make change involve some level of All eff 3 Grantees politics. Stakeholder analysis allows an understanding of key issues at the outset and sets up the foundation to 3 Grantmaker peers deal with people’s concerns and tap their expertise in a 3 Local community members proactive way that builds agreement around problems and solutions. 3 ought leaders / experts Th All of these groups need not be involved in every initiative or process. Moreover, individual grantmakers may identify other groups of stakeholders unique to their work and goals. Th e key is to identify those individuals and groups whose involvement will be important to the success of the work at hand. Th is means conducting a “stakeholder analysis” that es potential stakeholders and answers such identifi questions as the following: What do they bring to the process in terms of 3 resources, expertise, etc.? What is their interest in this work, that is, what 3 would motivate them to participate? To what extent is their support and engagement 3 essential to the ultimate success of the work? To what extent will their work, their lives, their 3 ected by the decision? neighborhoods, etc., be aff 11 For more on the concept of “connectors,” see Malcolm Gladwell, Th e Tipping Point: How Little Th ings Can Make a Big Diff erence , New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2000. 12 Hubs, according to author Albert-László Barabási, are highly connected nodes within a network, organizations that the network d epends on , New York: Basic Books, 2002. e New Science of Networks Linked: Th for information and leadership. See Barabási’s book | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 19

22 13 ective Philanthropy. surveys from the Center for Eff HOW CAN WE DETERMINE HOW Surveying grantees and others in these ways helps TO INVOLVE OUR STAKEHOLDERS? ne-tuned understanding grantmakers develop a more fi A host of specifi c practices and activities can help ts of how their work is (or is not) helping nonprofi grantmakers make the community and grantee voice an address challenges and meet their goals. important infl uence in their decisions and planning. ed a range of activities GEO and IISC have identifi Once the staff Gathering input. and board begin to that grantmakers can undertake in the name of ts of getting feedback from grantees and see the benefi stakeholder engagement. other stakeholders via surveys and other low-touch methods, then it might be time to explore doing more. Grantmakers just beginning this Getting started. Among the possibilities for soliciting input and ideas in work can start with “low-touch” activities. Surveys of more active ways is inviting grantees and community grantees are an especially valuable way to begin tapping members to participate in focus groups, listening the power of engagement for better grantmaking sessions, community convenings and other events. results. In 2006, Th e California Wellness Foundation commissioned the National Health Foundation to Author James Surowiecki, in his bestselling book dential survey of TCWF grantees conduct a confi Th e Wisdom of Crowds, posits that large groups of and nonprofi ts that were declined funding by the people can be smarter and make better decisions than grantmaker in 2005. It was the fourth an elite few. “Much of what we’ve seen so far suggests Grants Program Survey conducted by the foundation that a large group of diverse individuals will come up since 1997. with better and more robust forecasts and make more intelligent decisions than even the most skilled ‘decision According to TCWF President Gary Yates, the 14 maker,’” Surowiecki writes. confi dential surveys consistently deliver helpful information that the foundation can use to improve Viewed in this way, stakeholder engagement in its grantmaking practices. “We focus on things like the philanthropy is related to what a W.K. Kellogg respect and openness grantees feel in their relationship Foundation report called the “democratization of with staff . As a customer-oriented foundation, we want innovation.” “Th is practice recognizes and encourages a to know how we’re doing in those areas, and where we wide range of people to participate in the generation of 15 can improve,” Yates said. new ideas,” the report noted. not He added that including applicants that did receive An example of this kind of engagement is the Ontario funding from the foundation is essential. “If you’re Trillium Foundation’s Community Conversations only talking to people whom you are funding, that is a nd out series (see case study, page 27). Seeking to fi skewed sample, and you are not going to get a complete more about the voluntary sector in Ontario and understanding of how your work and your processes are what community organizations need, the grantmaker viewed in the community,” Yates said. initiated a dialogue process that allowed more than 1,000 Ontarians to share their views and perspectives. e California Wellness Foundation is not alone Th Based on the input it received, the foundation ts about their among foundations in surveying nonprofi simplifi ed its application and reporting processes and experiences with and perceptions of grantmakers. To increased the fl exibility of its grants policies. date, more than 200 grantmakers have commissioned Grantee Perception Reports and other stakeholder 13 ectivephilanthropy.org/index.php?page=assessment-tool-subscribers. For a list of CEP For a list of CEP assessment tool users, see www.eff assessment tools, see www.eff ectivephilanthropy.org/index.php?page=assessment-tools. 14 James Surowiecki, Th e Wisdom of Crowds , New York: Random House, 2008, p. 32. 15 W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Intentional Innovation: How Getting More Systematic About Innovation Could Improve Philanthropy and Increase Social Impact, August 2008, p. 30. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 20

23 Stakeholder Engagement Tools GETTING STARTED GATHERING INPUT SHARING DECISION MAKING 3 3 t and Add nonprofi Conduct online surveys 3 Hold focus groups with grantees and community community representatives of grantees to board and staff members Commission a Grantee 3 Perception Report from 3 Appoint panel of nonprofi 3 Hold listening sessions with t the Center for Effective grantees and community staff and community Philanthropy members members to decide on grants Publish a foundation blog 3 Convene community 3 3 Partner with other or wiki advisory groups grantmakers to cocreate Conduct interviews with Review and understand 3 3 a grantmaking initiative experts or thought leaders other potentially overlapping initiatives, and get feedback working on your issues on your plans work, and if you aren’t dealing on a day-to-day basis Sharing decision making. To a grantmaker, sharing with the enormous challenges these organizations face decision making means taking steps to ensure that your and the problems they see in the streets around them, grantmaking is guided by the voices and perspectives of then it’s hard for you to know on your own how best the people and groups it is designed to help. to support their work. And, more often than not, your Two key strategies that a grantmaker can pursue grantmaking will fall short of meeting the real needs of to create a culture of shared decision making in its your grantees and the communities they serve. organization are to (1) involve grantee and community One measure of the extent to which grantmakers are members in the staff and board of the organization and paying attention to the need to be more representative (2) delegate decision-making authority to an external of their communities is the racial and ethnic diversity committee of stakeholders. of foundation boards and staff s. A 2008 report from 1. and board. Transforming your staff As much Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors looked at changes as grantmakers might want to ignore this as an in the racial and ethnic makeup of the foundation s inconvenient truth, the people who serve on the staff world over a 25-year period. Although the report noted and the boards of foundations often come from and live s cation of grantmaking staff some progress in diversifi in a diff s of the erent world from the leaders and staff and boards, it also said that much of the progress had organizations they fund. occurred in the 1980s and early 1990s, and that the You can be well intentioned and up-to-date on level of progress depended on foundation types, staff 16 community goings-on, but if you don’t live in the titles and other factors. neighborhoods where the organizations you fund 16 Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, “Philanthropy in a Changing Society: Achieving Eff rough Diversity,” April 2008. ectiveness Th Available at http://rockpa.org/pdfs/Philanthropy_in_a_Changing_Society_full.pdf. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 21

24 But addressing the “people problem” should not be 2. Delegating decision-making authority to others. solely about numbers, that is, “We need this many Some grantmakers are taking stakeholder engagement people of color or that many people with nonprofi t in philanthropy all the way to its logical conclusion by experience.” Rather, it should be about trying to opening up control over their grantmaking decisions to develop a more fi ne-tuned, in-house understanding of nonprofi t and community representatives. what’s happening in the communities you serve, and According to Janis Foster, executive director of erence. how your grantmaking can make a diff Grassroots Grantmakers, a growing number of e Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation in New York Th foundations are “going all the way” to involve activists recognized this concept when it launched a wide- and grassroots residents in grantmaking decisions. ranging eff ort to rebuild its board and staff to better “I could count the programs that worked this way on represent the communities it serves. Today, the family half of one hand in the past,” she wrote in a January foundation’s 16-member board seats 10 nonfamily 2009 blog post. “I now need two hands and both feet. 18 members, including several community representatives. I’d call that a trend.” “Today we know that we are immeasurably better off One grantmaker that has been working in this way for for having extended the family, and have accomplished some time is Chicago’s Crossroads Fund. Crossroads far more than we could have ever done,” wrote Noyes Fund was established in 1981 by a group of young family members Edith Muma and Chad Raphael in people with a simple idea: Th ey believed philanthropy 17 ort. describing the eff should be guided by the expertise and insights of people working at the grassroots level to strengthen their Another grantmaker that has worked in an intentional communities and advance the cause of social change. rosters as part of a way to transform its board and staff Nearly 30 years later, the foundation continues to ort to enhance the impact of its work is the broader eff embrace a form of philanthropy that places a premium Raymond John Wean Foundation in Warren, Ohio. A on community involvement. board that formerly included only family members (and the family attorney) now includes the former principal One look at the board roster of the foundation shows t of an urban high school, the head of a local nonprofi that this grantmaker has a special connection to the serving the disadvantaged and the pastor of a local e majority of community and the causes it serves. Th Baptist church. the 17-member board consists of activists — there are community organizers, an artist and art educator, and “It looks more like the community,” said President the former executive director of a domestic violence Gordon Wean of the new board, which is steering shelter, to name a few. Th ese activists serve alongside a a wholesale transformation of the organization’s smaller number of major donors to the fund from the grantmaking with an emphasis on strengthening worlds of banking, investment management and other nonprofi ts and neighborhoods in two adjoining fi elds that traditionally have supplied foundations with counties in northeastern Ohio. Among the initiatives the majority of their board leaders. launched by the new board is Neighborhood SUCCESS, which provides grants for small community “Th is is not your typical community foundation development projects undertaken by grassroots groups board,” Kracher said. working to improve quality of life in lower-income Th e level of community involvement in the work neighborhoods. of the foundation is further enhanced by the fact that 17 e Challenge of Diversity,” organizational brochure. Available at www.noyes.org. Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation, “Th 18 Janis Foster, “Top 5 List of Promising Grassroots Grantmaking Trends,“ January 2009. Available at http://janisfoster.blogspot.com/2009/01/top-5-list-of-promising-grassroots.html. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 22

25 the board’s grantmaking committee isn’t limited to HOW WILL WE KNOW board members only. Rather, the fund invites people THAT WE DID IT WELL? from the community to serve on the committee When grantmakers assess a program or strategy, alongside board members. results the focus is typically on . However, looking at as equally important relationships and process “When we talk about stakeholders making grantmaking dimensions of success can yield helpful insights, decisions, we talk about a true partnership of all ectively the particularly in considering how eff stakeholders, including activists who have an expert grantmaker engaged stakeholders. view of what’s happening at the ground level,” Kracher said. e eff ective engagement of stakeholders is present in Th all three dimensions of success. An important measure Crossroads Fund is a member of the Funding of results success is the extent to which stakeholders Exchange network, which began more than 30 years provided input and are well served by the outcomes ago for the purpose of establishing a new model for of the initiative. When talking about process success, philanthropy based on community involvement. ectiveness of grantmakers need to consider the eff “Having people from the community involved helps the ways in which they involve grantees, community the foundation because it leads to better grantmaking members and others in the initiative. Success in the decisions,” Hanft said. “It doesn’t mean you are not relationships dimension hinges on stakeholders feeling taking risks but that you are operating from a stronger valued and supported as the strategy or initiative is base of knowledge.” being developed and carried out. Another grantmaker that has been working to engage ective stakeholder engagement can result in a Ineff community members in grantmaking decisions is the range of undesirable outcomes for the grantmaking Skillman Foundation, whose 10-year, $100 million strategy or initiative. Th ese include “stakeholder Good Neighborhoods Program includes a small grants sabotage,” when people who were not engaged or who initiative where a 15-member resident review panel were engaged poorly take actions that could imperil makes grants ranging from $500 to $5,000, with the success of a grantmaker’s eff orts. Doing this work more than 300 grassroots projects funded since its ineff ectively also can result in grantmakers not having the people power in inception in 2006. “We feed off the information they need to make decisions. Perhaps the neighborhoods,” said Tonya Allen, Skillman’s vice you didn’t engage with the right people, or you didn’t president of program. “We knew it was out there, but ask the right questions and therefore don’t have we had no idea it would be this strong.” good answers. Additional examples of grantmakers that have opened Also, as grantmakers begin asking questions about up the decision-making process to others abound. success, it is important for them to remember that Funding decisions are made collaboratively by donors, evaluation itself must be a collaborative process. at the Liberty Hill community representatives and staff Grantmakers can engage with grantees and community Foundation. Th e Zellerbach Family Foundation in members to develop strategies for evaluating the results San Francisco convenes a committee of practicing artists of key investments and community partnerships to decide on grants made under its Community Arts guring out how to apply new learning and for fi e Cleveland Foundation’s Neighborhood Program. Th (from evaluation and other activities) to the task of Connections Program makes small grants of $500 to strengthening the work. $5,000, based on the deliberations and decisions of a panel of 25 Cleveland residents. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 23

26 Dimensions of Success RESULTS RESULTS Are the results of high quality? 3 3 Are the results timely? 3 Do the results meet stakeholder requirements (internal and external)? SHARED RESPONSIBILITY PROCESS FOR SUCCESS Is the process clear and logical? 3 Is the process effi cient? 3 Is the process appropriate for the task? 3 PROCESS RELATIONSHIPS Does the process involve the 3 appropriate stakeholders? Source: Interaction Institute for Social Change RELATIONSHIPS Do internal and external stakeholders 3 feel supported? Do stakeholders trust each other? 3 Do stakeholders feel valued? 3 “One way to ensure the relevance and usefulness of an evaluation is to develop a set of evaluation questions ect the perspectives, experiences and insights that refl of as many relevant individuals, groups, organizations, and communities as possible,” according to Hallie Preskill and Nathalie Jones of FSG Social Impact Advisors. “By soliciting the opinions, interests, concerns and priorities of stakeholders early in the evaluation process, the results are more likely to address stakeholders’ specifi c information needs and be useful for a range of purposes, among them to improve program eff ectiveness, to aff ect policy decisions and/or 19 to instigate behavioral change.” 19 Hallie Preskill and Nathalie Jones, “A Practical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation Questions,” FSG Social Impact Advisors, 2009. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 24

27 CONCLUSION All of us want to be involved in important decisions that affect our lives. To the extent that we aren’t, we’re more likely to feel excluded and ignored, and less likely to support whatever decisions are made. Engaging stakeholders in philanthropy will prove a different process for different grantmakers; there is no one-size-fi ts-all solution. However, for every grantmaker, it means asking a series of questions about four key facets of your work: 1. Your grantmaking practices — Do you have a strong enough sense from grantees and other nonprofi ts of how your grantmaking practices and procedures contribute (or don’t) to their success, and what you can improve? 2. Your strategies — Are you doing enough as a grantmaker to engage grantees and members of the communities who are affected by your work in the design of strategies for change? ect the diversity, — Do your foundation’s board and staff members refl 3. Your people the experience and the skills that are needed to understand what is truly happening in the communities you serve, and how best to support nonprofi t success? 4. Your relationships — What can you do to build stronger, more open and more honest relationships with your foundation’s grantees and other stakeholders so that the foundation isn’t perceived as an all-powerful, unapproachable institution? ndings of GEO’s Change Agent Project was that change-making grantmakers One of the key fi are driven by the belief that answers to the problems they seek to address lie within the community, and that grantees and community stakeholders are well suited to play a role in setting the agenda for leading change. t community organizing collaborative in Ohio, Kirk Noden, executive director of a nonprofi suggested that foundations can get a higher return on their grantmaking investments by shifting from a “transactional” mode of philanthropy to an approach that is “transformational.” Transformational grantmaking, he explained, is founded on an understanding that lasting change happens when people working on the front lines have the opportunity and the capacity to make it happen and see it through. Effective engagement therefore starts and ends with respect — respect for the expertise that those on the front lines bring to the problems affecting their community, and respect for their capacity to develop solutions if given the chance. GEO hopes this action guide has been useful for those who are contemplating a more active role for themselves and their grantmaking organizations in reaching beyond foundation walls for answers. We look forward to engaging with you and others as we continue to explore this important topic in the months and years ahead. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 25

28 GRANTMAKER: Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation GRANTMAKER Enlisting the community to develop a wide-ranging plan ENGAGEMENT KEY: CASE STUDY eld, Mass. for improving the lives of children in Springfi MORE INFO: www.davisfdn.org WHAT HAPPENED? HOW DID GRANTEES AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS RESPOND? Cherish Every Child is a change initiative based on the question “What will it take for the entire city of In a 2004 evaluation of the planning phase of Cherish Springfi eld, Mass., to come together around improving Every Child, the University of Massachusetts said the the lives of children?” effort had been “highly successful in bringing a range of players to the table.” One of those players was Bill Launched by the Irene E. and George A. Davis Ward, executive director of the Regional Employment Foundation in 2001, with a public engagement t established by Board of Hampden County (a nonprofi component designed and facilitated by IISC, Cherish federal and state legislation as the primary workforce Every Child enlisted hundreds of people and dozens development agency in the county). of organizations in a collaborative process to produce an action plan to meet the health, education, and Ward said his organization had never paid much eld’s youngest social and emotional needs of Springfi attention to early childhood issues. Now, however, it residents. has been given $500,000 by the state of Massachusetts to create a program to develop the professional skills WHAT WAS THE RESULT of early childhood providers in Hampden County. The OF THE ENGAGEMENT? board is also leading a fi ve-year initiative to improve and expand the delivery of literacy services Since the plan was unveiled in 2002, Springfi eld’s eld. in Springfi political and business leaders, together with community residents and others, have taken a variety of actions “We now see early education and literacy as workforce that have resulted in marked improvements in development issues in a way that we didn’t in the past,” outcomes for the city’s children. Ward said, crediting his involvement in Cherish Every Child as the primary motivation for the organization’s Among the most recent achievements are the creation embrace of these issues. of a new program enabling early childhood educators to pursue professional development and obtain an WHAT ARE KEY INSIGHTS associate or baccalaureate degree; the launch of a pilot FOR GRANTMAKERS? Welcome Baby Basket and Home Visiting Program for new Springfi eld mothers; and state passage of a bill to Foundation Executive Director Mary Walachy said the make publicly funded, high-quality preschool education secret of Cherish Every Child’s success has been respect and full-day public school kindergarten available to for the time and opinions of all involved. “Sometimes every Massachusetts child. foundations will convene you and then tell you what they want you to do,” she said. “But what happened In addition, during a two-year period the foundation’s here is we came in without any kind of agenda apart $489,000 in grants leveraged an additional $1,054,000 from wanting to do a better job for children.” from other sources for elements of the Cherish Every Child action plan, giving the plan an even greater Walachy added, “It’s amazing what can happen when chance of having real impact. you actually listen to people.” | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 26

29 GRANTMAKER: Ontario Trillium Foundation GRANTMAKER Tapping the pulse of 1,000 Ontarians through a ENGAGEMENT KEY: province-wide dialogue process designed to generate CASE STUDY ideas for better grantmaking MORE INFO: www.trilliumfoundation.org WHAT HAPPENED? HOW DID GRANTEES AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS RESPOND? The Ontario Trillium Foundation, a government-funded grantmaker, stepped up its commitment to stakeholder Grantees have responded positively to the opportunity engagement after the appointment of a new board of to engage with the foundation and to the changes that directors in 2004. Seeking to fi nd out more about what have happened as a result of that engagement. community organizations need, the board initiated a “They used to make you jump through millions of process that allowed more than 1,000 Ontarians to hoops to get funding, and then you wouldn’t talk share their perspectives. to them until your annual report was due,” said The foundation held Community Conversations sessions Katrina Miller, campaigns director with the Toronto in several locations across the province in the summer Environmental Alliance, a 2007–2008 Future Fund of 2005 and posted an electronic survey on its Web grantee. “With the Future Fund, it’s different.” site, reaching community members and representatives Now, according to Miller, the application and reporting of nonprofi t organizations. process is much simpler, and she is in frequent contact with her program offi cer. In addition, the foundation WHAT WAS THE RESULT has adopted what Wilson calls a “high-engagement” OF THE ENGAGEMENT? approach to grant monitoring and evaluation, working One message the grantmaker heard loud and clear closely with grantees to determine what both parties in its outreach, according to Dan Wilson, manager of are seeking to learn and how to track it. ts policy, research and evaluation, was that nonprofi “It’s much more transparent now,” Miller said of the across Ontario were tired of all the work that went into Future Fund process. “We are off our original work securing a grant from the foundation. plan on this grant, but that is not a problem because Based on that input and similar feedback from surveys we have regular conversations with them and they of grantees and applicants, the foundation instituted a understand the adjustments we’ve made.” ed application process for small capital requests simplifi and launched a streamlined online application and WHAT ARE KEY INSIGHTS reporting system. The foundation also revamped its FOR GRANTMAKERS? “decline” process so that those applicants hear about “I think part of the reason we’re so intent on engaging the foundation’s decision as soon as it is made. people in our work is because it is the right thing to do As another community engagement strategy, the as a public agency,” said Wilson. Far from embracing foundation launched a grantmaking program, the engagement as a pro forma exercise, however, Future Fund, designed to support community initiatives the foundation reaches out to the communities it around a new theme each year. “It has created a cycle serves with remarkable gusto. And it is fi nding that of engagement, where we ask sector leaders to help us engagement can lead to better relationships with ne the theme and set priorities,” Wilson said. refi grantees and, ultimately, better outcomes for the communities they serve. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 27

30 GRANTMAKER: Durfee Foundation GRANTMAKER Engaging grantees to help decide which individuals and ENGAGEMENT KEY: CASE STUDY projects to fund today MORE INFO: www.durfee.org “We convened a group and asked if they were WHAT HAPPENED? ts, what designing a program to help newer nonprofi The Durfee Foundation’s 12-year-old Durfee Sabbatical would they do?” said Avery. “And they said having Program offers stipends and covers expenses for experienced mentors would be an enormous boost.” up to six individuals to “travel, refl ect or otherwise renew themselves in whatever manner they propose,” HOW DID GRANTEES AND according to the foundation’s Web site. Selecting OTHER STAKEHOLDERS RESPOND? ve-member panel that the recipients is the job of a fi Patti Giggans, executive director of the Los Angeles includes the two Durfee staff members and three nonprofi t Peace Over Violence, is a former Durfee former recipients of the sabbatical awards. Sabbatical Program grantee and has served on a The foundation invites former sabbatical recipients to selection panel for the program. She said that Durfee serve on the selection panel each year and provides is “uniquely determined” in its efforts to involve the them with a briefi ng book that includes all candidate community in its grantmaking decisions. applications. The panel then meets for a day in the “They’re good listeners,” said Giggans of the Durfee ce to select semifi nalists for the awards, Durfee offi board and staff. “And they have made it part of their and they gather again for two days to interview the mission to stay in touch with what’s happening on semifi nalists and make their decisions. The former the ground.” grantees receive a stipend of $500 per day for their work. WHAT ARE KEY INSIGHTS FOR GRANTMAKERS? WHAT WAS THE RESULT OF THE ENGAGEMENT? With a full-time staff of just two, the foundation relies on grantees to “extend our reach and knowledge For a small family foundation, tapping the expertise and of who’s doing what in the community,” said Durfee insights of former grantees to help make grantmaking Foundation Executive Director Claire Peeps. decisions is invaluable, Avery said. “We have a family board, and this lets us get our feelers out in the She added that having former sabbatical recipients community so we can be sure we’re making smart on the selection panels “increases the sense of decisions,” Avery added. transparency” at the foundation. “People go back into the community with a better sense of how we The foundation also turns to grantees as a resource work, and how hard it can be to make the choices that when it is considering retooling an existing program or foundations make.” launching a new one. After listening to former grantees of a program through which one-time grants were given to young nonprofi ts, the foundation decided to launch the Springboard Program to provide multiyear grants t leaders to mentoring and assign seasoned nonprofi ts. relationships with newer nonprofi | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 28

31 GRANTMAKER: The Bank of America Charitable Foundation GRANTMAKER Engaging local committees to administer a nationwide ENGAGEMENT KEY: CASE STUDY community grantmaking program MORE INFO: www.bankofamerica.com/foundation/ organization’s selection as an awardee, through which WHAT HAPPENED? ts are able to catapult themselves to a these nonprofi Through its signature philanthropic program, the higher level of performance.” ® Neighborhood Excellence Initiative , The Bank of America Charitable Foundation awards two-year HOW DID GRANTEES AND grants of $200,000 in unrestricted general operating OTHER STAKEHOLDERS RESPOND? support to 90 organizations each year — two each in Mike Alvidrez’s organization, Skidrow Housing Trust in 45 communities from Portland, Ore., to Washington, Los Angeles, was a Neighborhood Builder award winner D.C. The foundation also provides strategic leadership in 2006, and Alvidrez subsequently served on the NEI development training to senior executives and local market selection committee in 2007. “I think it is emerging leaders from the awardee organizations. to Bank of America’s credit that they are so deliberate A critical component of NEI is the designation of about going outside their own ranks to get strategic “local market selection committees” in each of the input and advice,” Alvidrez said. 45 communities. The committees are composed of Alvidrez also praised the foundation for recognizing the nonprofi t representatives, including alumni awardees importance of unrestricted general operating support. and other community leaders — seven to nine “A dollar of unrestricted funds is worth more than a members in all. ll dollar of restricted funds,” he said. “It allows us to fi WHAT WAS THE RESULT in any gaps we see in our operations, and the fact that Bank of America recognizes this shows they have OF THE ENGAGEMENT? their ear to the ground and are sensitive to what In facilitated meetings each fall, committee members nonprofi ts need.” review the applicants from their markets and select two ® ts, or Neighborhood Builders nonprofi , for two-year WHAT ARE KEY INSIGHTS general operating grants and leadership development FOR GRANTMAKERS? training. Managing a grantmaking program that seeks to build Since the inception of NEI in 2004, the foundation has t capacity in 45 diverse communities could be nonprofi ts across the country expand helped nearly 500 nonprofi a heavy lift. But the task is eased by the fact that the their services, develop innovative programs and better foundation relies on community input and engagement serve local communities through these awards. to guide the selection process. “The Neighborhood Excellence Initiative’s fl exible The grantmaker’s engagement strategy also ensures model with a focus on local stakeholder engagement ects local conditions on the that its grantmaking refl enabled the program to adjust to the needs of safety ground. “Our intent through the Neighborhood net organizations during the economic downturn,” Excellence Initiative is to deliver our philanthropy in a said Steve Fitzgerald, NEI program director. “But in way that is relevant in local communities where we do addition, we believe there is a leveraging aspect to an business,” Fitzgerald said. | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 29

32 GRANTMAKER: Saint Luke’s Foundation GRANTMAKER Convening residents to create a vision for the ENGAGEMENT KEY: CASE STUDY transformation of two Cleveland neighborhoods MORE INFO: www.saintlukesfoundation.org library, as well as an art plaza and reading garden. WHAT HAPPENED? Foundation funding also will support plans to expand The Saint Luke’s Foundation is making signifi cant housing choices and home ownership, improve the investments in the revitalization of two long-neglected existing housing stock, augment security, create jobs neighborhoods in its hometown of Cleveland. Guiding for youths, improve academic achievement and address the foundation and its partners are the voices of other community priorities. neighborhood residents who shared their hopes and aspirations in community meetings, focus groups, HOW DID GRANTEES AND surveys and more. OTHER STAKEHOLDERS RESPOND? The work started with a 2004 grant of $1.2 million to Joyce Rhyan, assistant vice president for community a local organization, Neighborhood Progress Inc., to planning with Neighborhood Progress Inc., said spearhead a neighborhood-based planning process community response to the grantmaker’s engagement in the Buckeye and Larchmere neighborhoods, which efforts has been positive, in part because of the surround the former Saint Luke’s Medical Center foundation’s focus on resident participation. campus. The foundation was created from the “The foundation requested community engagement conversion of the medical center to a for-profi t health in this work at every level — and one of the wonderful care corporation in 1997. things about it is they were not pushing their will on the WHAT WAS THE RESULT process. They wanted the community to be engaged in a way where residents owned the process,” she said. OF THE ENGAGEMENT? Community engagement efforts included the WHAT ARE KEY INSIGHTS convening of an advisory group of neighborhood FOR GRANTMAKERS? residents, plus a four-hour workshop where 125 Throughout the engagement process, the foundation residents brainstormed ideas and developed a wish was an active participant and listener in community list of community improvements. The workshop was meetings. “People saw that the foundation’s staff were followed by focus groups and “open house” meetings actively engaged in this process themselves, and that where residents could respond to an initial list of helped the neighborhoods understand that something priorities and community projects. real would come out of it,” Rhyan said. The foundation now is funding the implementation of the plan that emerged from the engagement process, which includes transforming a fi ve-acre vacant site adjacent to the former Saint Luke’s Hospital into a “learning campus.” The new installation will include a 64,300-square-foot, two-story, $17 million elementary school and a new 14,000-square-foot, $6 million branch | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 30

33 GRANTMAKER: Marguerite Casey Foundation GRANTMAKER Convening thousands of families to develop a national ENGAGEMENT KEY: CASE STUDY platform for action to strengthen the social safety net MORE INFO: www.caseygrants.org “All over the country we’re seeing a real boost in WHAT HAPPENED? activity and partnerships on these issues,” Brown In late 2007 and early 2008, members of 30,000 said. Just as important, she added, “This campaign families met in town-hall meetings across the country has enabled us to move the relationship and the to talk about rebuilding the safety net for low-income partnership with grantees to a deeper level so people Americans. The meetings were part of a campaign see us as a resource and partner not just because we launched by the Marguerite Casey Foundation to have money but because we can share information, provide working families with a stronger voice in ideas and connections too.” decisions that affect their lives. According to Kelly Brown, previously director of HOW DID GRANTEES AND OTHER programs and evaluation with the foundation, its Equal STAKEHOLDERS RESPOND? Voice campaign grew out of the Seattle grantmaker’s Star Paschal, a property manager for an Auburn, interest in developing “more authentic partnerships” Ala., public housing project, told a reporter covering with people at the community level. the campaign’s fi rst Alabama town-hall meeting, “We’re interested in what it takes to facilitate and “Here today, seeing my people coming together and support the efforts of individuals and organizations to supporting each other, speaking up against injustice, be engaged in the work of social change,” Brown said. it makes me feel like we can set a better path for 20 our children.” WHAT WAS THE RESULT Ethel White, a board member of the Federation of OF THE ENGAGEMENT? Child Care Centers of Alabama, which is a foundation cially kicked off in The Equal Voice campaign offi grantee, said Equal Voice “has given voice to people September 2007, when 500 representatives of the from all walks of life: people who represent various foundation grantees gathered in Atlanta to discuss and ethnic groups and various needs and issues.” ratify a plan for a series of community meetings across the country. During the next year, the foundation led WHAT ARE KEY INSIGHTS those meetings, culminating in three simultaneous FOR GRANTMAKERS? conventions where more than 15,000 people Brown said that working with grantees that serve on contributed to the design of and ultimately ratifi ed a planning committees for the campaign has eased national platform for action on issues ranging from child tensions caused by the power differential between the care and education to living-wage jobs. grantmaker and the organizations it supports. Since the unveiling of the National Family Platform, “This kind of work requires a profound level of mutual grantees of the foundation have been working in respect on both sides and a willingness to step outside their communities to implement local and regional of institutional relationships,” Brown said. “When you campaigns aimed at achieving the platform’s goals. do that, you realize that philanthropy is important, but it is only a small part of the picture of how change happens.” 20 Evan Milligan, “Unleashing the Transformative Power of Star Paschal,” | | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 31 31 New America Media, August 10, 2008.

34 To Engagement and Beyond: Questions for Grantmakers Engaging stakeholders is a step-by-step process that relies on good thinking and sound strategy. Here are some questions to guide your organization as you embark on the journey toward greater stakeholder involvement in your work: Determining the Right Way to Creating Strategies for Engage Stakeholders Stakeholder Engagement 3 3 What is the current situation (i.e., the problem What strategies will work best given your goals and what you know about each of your key or opportunity) that you want to address? individual and group stakeholders? How can stakeholders help you better identify the situation? What is the maximum involvement of 3 stakeholders appropriate for the different 3 What would be your goal in addressing the elements of your work? (Please see “Levels of current situation? How can stakeholders help Stakeholder Engagement” for more.) ne and clarify the goal? you refi How can stakeholders help you envision (and 3 3 Have you challenged yourself to think about implement) the best actions to achieve the goal? how you can share power? If so, how prepared are you and your organization for supporting What actions can stakeholders help with most? processes that lead to collective decisions? Identifying Key Stakeholders Assessing the Results 3 What individuals or groups will play a key role in the ultimate success of this work — 3 How will you know that your stakeholder either because they will be directly affected engagement strategies are working? What will by outcomes or because they bring unique be the key indicators of success or failure? uence to the resources, expertise and infl 3 How can you assess stakeholder involvement process? along the three key dimensions of success: results, process and relationships? (Please see What is the mindset of these individuals and 3 page 23.) groups toward the current situation? To what extent can you involve stakeholders What would it take to secure their participation? 3 3 in the assessment process itself — and how can 3 Do they have the time and resources needed you do it? to participate in an active and constructive way? Are the right conditions set for their 3 participation? What more can you do to support their involvement? | © GRANTMAKERS FOR EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS 32

35 An Action Guide for Do Nothing Engaging Stakeholders About Me By J. Courtney Bourns Without Me GEO and IISC would like to thank the following grantmakers featured in this publication: The Bank of America Charitable Foundation The California Wellness Foundation Cleveland Foundation Crossroads Fund Durfee Foundation Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation Liberty Hill Foundation Marguerite Casey Foundation Ontario Trillium Foundation Raymond John Wean Foundation Saint Luke’s Foundation Skillman Foundation Triangle Community Foundation William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Zellerbach Family Foundation GEO would like to extend a special thank-you to the grantmakers that have supported us with major general operating grants during the last two years: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Blue Shield of California Foundation David and Lucile Packard Foundation Edna McConnell Clark Foundation Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund The James Irvine Foundation Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Surdna Foundation William and Flora Hewlett Foundation And with grants in support of GEO’s stakeholder engagement program: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

36 Cert no. SW-COC-002504 WRITING: WILLIAM H. WOODWELL JR. DESIGN: HAIRPIN COMMUNICATIONS 1725 DeSales St. NW, Suite 404 / Washington, DC 20036 tel: 202.898.1840 fax: 202.898.0318 web: www.geofunders.org

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