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CEP Awarded Two Fund for Shared Insight Grants

Date: November 20, 2014

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Media Contact: Grace Nicolette, Director, Marketing and Communications: 617-492-0800 x236

Cambridge, MA – The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) has been awarded two significant grants in the inaugural grant period of the Fund for Shared Insight. A collaboration between seven funders, the Fund awarded 14 grants, it announced today, to projects aimed at improving the field of philanthropy through increasing openness and feedback loops in foundations. Among those grants, one was awarded to CEP to support a new research project examining foundation transparency, and another to support the continued advancement of CEP’s YouthTruth initiative.

Awarded in the category to “increase foundation openness,” the first grant will allow CEP’s research team to move forward in robustly expanding their previous research into foundation transparency, which led to the publication of Foundation Transparency: What Nonprofits Want in 2013. The team plans to field surveys to foundation leaders about their attitudes and practices related to transparency and expand and further analyze its grantee dataset, which includes data on perceptions of foundation transparency. Through these methods, the project will investigate the relationship between foundation attitudes and practices and how grantees experience transparency and openness. The research will lead to the publication of a major report detailing and sharing the data and findings, as well as profiling foundations that are exemplary performers in their openness strategies and practices.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to push further on the important issue of funder openness and transparency through this research project,” said Ellie Buteau, vice president, research at CEP. “This funding from the Fund for Shared Insight will allow us to mine our data of grantee perceptions about what transparency is and why it matters, to explore foundation attitudes and practices, and to highlight foundations that are exemplary and from which other funders can learn.”

The second grant, awarded in the category to “advance the practice of using feedback loops to hear from the people we seek to help,” will fund the continued growth and development of YouthTruth. Developed in 2008 in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, YouthTruth gathers candid student feedback and harnesses student perceptions to help educators and administrators accelerate improvements in their schools and classrooms. The Fund for Shared Insight grant will contribute to YouthTruth’s initiatives to scale its influence to reach more education leaders and funders and further develop the project’s long-term sustainability.

“YouthTruth is about listening to students in a way that is rigorous, authentic, and leads to change and better outcomes in one of the most significant areas of foundation funding – education,” said Phil Buchanan, president of CEP. “The Fund for Shared Insight support allows us to continue our growth, reaching more school and district leaders and education funders and getting us closer to a self-sustaining economic model.”

The Fund for Shared Insight is a collaborative effort between the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the JPB Foundation, Liquidnet, the Rita Allen Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Launched in July 2014, the Fund pools resources to fund projects at nonprofits that aim to encourage feedback and openness between funders, grantees, and beneficiaries as a means to improve philanthropy and make foundations more effective. The 14 awards announced today are its first grants.



The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide data and create insight so philanthropic funders can better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness and impact. CEP received initial funding in 2001 and has offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California. For more information on CEP’s work, including its research, publications, programming, and assessment tools, visit

The Center for Effective Philanthropy – Improving foundation performance through data and insight.

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