The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation strives toward transformative change through impactful funding in areas of profound concern. MacArthur lives its mission through the “Just Imperative,” which charges the organization to lead with a commitment to justice. The Just Imperative also requires that the Foundation examine its decisions and actions to ensure that they enhance the conditions in which justice can thrive. It is through this lens that the Foundation remains focused on dismantling the structures, systems, and practices that uphold racism or produce unjust outcomes.

The MacArthur Foundation values feedback. MacArthur’s Learning Officer, who serves on its Evaluation and Learning team and works with teams across the Foundation, supports the development of stronger feedback practices. MacArthur recognizes that hearing directly from the people with whom it works most closely—partner organizations and grantees—will help the Foundation improve its work. As the MacArthur Foundation strives to continuously improve its feedback practice, it shares evaluations of its work and communicates its learnings and experiences along the way. In this LabStorm with the Learning Officer, we discussed how the Foundation might effectively seek feedback from partners, authentically and transparently share its experiences, and promote responsible feedback practices in the field.

Engagement Equals Effort. The MacArthur Foundation hopes to lessen the burden on both grantees and communities served—possibly through cross-sector feedback. Attendees suggested figuring out ways to make the feedback and engagement process more meaningful. If the providers of feedback understand the importance of the engagement, then making it quick and easy becomes less of an issue.

Investing in Dialogue Spaces. The MacArthur Foundation strives to be vulnerable and transparent in seeking feedback and closing the feedback loop with grantees and other philanthropic organizations. Participants stressed that it’s important to think about how you’re being transparent and vulnerable.

Streamlining Feedback. The Foundation can also encourage the practice and visibility of good and responsible feedback practices among philanthropic organizations by modeling and sharing its feedback practices externally. Contributors to the LabStorm discussion proposed tapping into the networks that it’s already in to learn about the progress or stagnation, it is making towards external commitments.

Read the full article about how feedback strengthens philanthropic relationships by Sophia Johnson at Feedback Labs.