Giving Compass' Take:

• United Philanthropy Forum discusses the knowledge gap in the foundation sector and how different organizations can share what they've learned.

• One takeaway is that foundation openness requires trust and relationship-building to break down power dynamics, but patience is needed. How can funders help support transparency? 

• Here's an article on how relationship-based feedback helps with grantmaking.

Assessing a foundation’s performance is critical to its learning and improvement if it wants to be as effective as possible in achieving its philanthropic strategies and goals. A recent report by The Center for Effective Philanthropy, a United Philanthropy Forum member, noted that “foundations cannot expect to improve in their programmatic efforts without access to information about what’s working and what’s not.” That’s sometimes easier said than done, the CEP report makes clear.

For example, the majority of foundation CEOs interviewed for the report believe that the knowledge that other foundations have about what is and isn’t working in their programmatic work is relevant/useful to their foundation. But just 19 percent of CEOs say they have quite a bit of knowledge about what is working in the programmatic efforts of other foundations that are addressing the same or similar goals as their own. Even fewer — 6 percent — say they have quite a bit of knowledge about what isn’t working in their peer foundations’ efforts.

United Philanthropy Forum has been exploring how foundations can get better at sharing what they’re learning with foundation colleagues and grantees, and how they can use these learnings to improve their work.

Read the full article about early learnings on building foundation openness by Courtney Moore at United Philanthropy Forum.