CEP is very lucky to have had the support and encouragement of Jim Canales of the James Irvine Foundation from the very early days of our establishment. He has allowed the Foundation, on multiple occasions, to be a test site for new CEP assessment tools, such as our Staff Perception Report (SPR) and Stakeholder Assessment Report (STAR). And the Foundation has supported CEP through grant funding to establish our West Coast office, to produce conferences and events in California, and to develop a new donor survey tool for community foundations.
As the Irvine Foundation CEO, Jim has been a leader on issues of governance, transparency, and effectiveness. Jim is such a diplomat and has such great relationships across the foundation field and nonprofit sector that it’s easy to underappreciate the boldness of his leadership. The Irvine Foundation’s website sets a bar for openness that many other foundations simply don’t clear.
And, in recent years, Jim and his colleagues have done what all too few foundations do – make public a performance report that captures what they consider to be the key data about their foundation’s effectiveness. While he’d be the first to admit that it’s a work in process, it’s an impressive effort to put down in one place – for all to see – the key indicators of foundation effectiveness.
As CEP’s next guest blogger, Jim will openly address the challenges and benefits of developing an overall foundation performance report. I think his posts will challenge others to consider what they do to assess overall foundation performance, with whom they share that data, and to what end.
Phil Buchanan is President of CEP