New CEP Video Features Ford Foundation, Barr Foundation & Einhorn Family Charitable Trust

CEP’s efforts to provide data and insight to help foundations improve are captured in a new, 135-second video. The video captures the testimonials of foundation leaders that have relied on CEP to inform their decision-making: Darren Walker of Ford Foundation, Jim Canales and Barbara Hostetter of Barr Foundation, andJenn Hoos-Rothberg of the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust. CEP is grateful to them and to the great folks at Epipheo, who produced the video.

New Essay Dives Into Pressing Issues Facing Foundation Leaders

In Big Issues, Many Questions, just released yesterday, CEP President Phil Buchanan lays out five trends that foundation CEOs and boards cannot overlook or ignore.

Transparency that Matters

Foundation-Transparency_Cov1-232x300Transparency among foundations has been the source of much discussion and debate, but often with little nuance about who exactly is the audience and what information is most valuable to share. CEP’s most recent research report, Sharing What Matters: Foundation Transparency, seeks to deepen the conversation by exploring the views and practices of foundations, as well as the perspectives of grantees. The report has been downloaded more than 1,000 times in the past two months, and we’ve enjoyed following along and taking part in the ongoing conversation about our findings.

Ellie Buteau, CEP’s vice president, research, and one of the co-authors of the report, took part in an interesting Q&A on Glasspockets’ “Transparency Talk” blog. “Foundations and grantees are more aligned than they may realize when it comes to the information they think is important for foundations to share,” Buteau said. “Now it’s about foundations implementing — and really doing it well.”

Several guest authors from across the sector have also reacted to the findings on the CEP blog:

  • Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Elizabeth Russell contributed a post teasing apart the differences between “transactional” and “transformative” transparency, and explaining what it takes for funders to achieve the latter.
  • McKnight Foundation President Kate Wolfordexplained how in the nascent field of impact investing, more sharing and openness among funders about their practices and lessons learned could have a wide benefit for the field.
  • Jeff Kutash, executive director of Peter Kiewit Foundation, contributed a funny and honest post about the importance of nuance to discussing where and how funders should be transparent to further their mission.
  • Melinda Tuan of the Fund for Shared Insight, which provided project support for the research initiative, wrote about how important it is for funders to not just simply share information, but to also listen to and learn from what others — especially grantees and beneficiaries — have to say.
  • Nell Edgington broke down the report and discussed how funders and grantees both must overcome a fear of sharing what hasn’t worked to realize greater effectiveness and results.
  • Lindsay Louie, program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, discussed why improvement for foundations in key areas of transparency will take serious work.
  • And in a popular post that went beyond what made it into the report, CEP analyst and co-author of the report Matthew Leiwant shared his reflections on what he saw when taking a deep dive into analyzing more than 70 foundation websites as part of the research effort.

CEP also hosted a webinar in which a panel of foundation leaders — Cathy Self, president and CEO of Baptist Healing Trust, Peter Dunn, president and CEO of the Central New York Community Foundation, and John Tyler, general counsel for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation — participated in a spirited discussion of transparency and shared experiences from their approaches at their respective organizations.

Elsewhere on the Blog…

Vice President, Assessment and Advisory Services, Kevin Bolduc shared what we learned from recent third-party assessments of the Grantee Perception Report (GPR)and Donor Perception Report (DPR).

Following a conversation with Media Impact Funders Executive Director and CEP Board Member, Vince Stehle, CEP’s Ethan McCoydiscussed the vital role that documentary filmmaking can play in fueling social change — and how funders can stand to become more involved in supporting change-making films.

Chris Kabel, deputy director of health program at The Kresge Foundation, shared five takeaways about effective funder collaboratives.

Diana Davenport of The Commonwealth Fund touched on the importance of foundation boards and staff working together to be best prepared for both expected and unexpected leadership turnover.

And following up a post in January about the refugee crisis in Europe, Michael Alberg-Seberich and Diya Khanna of Active Philanthropy discussed how collaboration between funders and other actors in society, as well as listening to the voices and perspectives of migrants themselves, is what will lead to the action necessary to empower migrants and effectively integrate them into European society.

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CEP to Present on Evaluation at GEO Conference

If you’re grappling with how to approach evaluation at your foundation, don’t miss the session “How Does Your Approach to Evaluation Measure Up?” at theGrantmakers for Effective Organizations 2016 National Conference in Minneapolis next week.

Along with Tanya Beer and Julia Coffman of the Center for Evaluation Innovation, CEP President Phil Buchanan and Associate Manager, Research, Jennifer Glickman will lead a session sharing results from a new benchmarking research initiative on foundations’ evaluation practices. The session will dig into what this research reveals about current and cutting-edge evaluation and learning practices in philanthropy and will invite participants to look at their own evaluation approaches and practices and consider how to ensure it is a good “fit” with their foundation’s size, values, and culture.

If you’ll be in Minneapolis for the conference, be sure to not miss this session!

Elsewhere, CEP Vice President, Assessment & Advisory Services, Kevin Bolduc was a keynote speaker at yesterday’s Alabama Giving 2016 Grantmaker Summit in Montgomery.

CEP is Hiring!

CEP is currently searching for new members to join our growing team in several capacities in both our Cambridge and San Francisco offices! Know the right person? Spread the word! Is that right person you? Apply! Click the links below for full job descriptions and submission instructions.

Jawhara-300x189New Faces at CEP

CEP is thrilled to welcome our newest analyst on the assessment and advisory services team, Jawhara Tariq, to our San Francisco office!





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