Giving Compass' Take:

• FSG created a report titled "Being The Change" and found that organizations are modifying their own internal structures first in order to achieve greater impact philanthropy. 

• How do reports such as these change the way organizations evaluate their models? 

• Read about other ways to achieve impact philanthropy, such as strengthening funder-grantee relationships.

As foundations embrace ever more ambitious and complex approaches for creating social change, they are taking an intentional approach to rethinking their organizational structures to achieve the greatest impact. They recognize that you can’t make change “out there” if you don’t make change “in here" to achieve impact philanthropy.

Six funders recently supported FSG to explore how foundations are being the change they seek in the world. FSG distilled key themes from conversations with 114 leaders and staff from 50 funders and 8 philanthropic services organizations in our new report, Being the Change.

We found a surprising commonality regardless of the size or scope of the foundation. Four areas in particular—staffing philosophy, structure and design, skill development, and supportive culture— arose as areas that require adaptation to enable foundations and their staff members to adopt new ways of creating social change.

When we shared the findings with staff at the study’s six funding organizations, they reflected on what they learned from the study, and the impact they hope it will have on their organizations and the field.

Here are some of the things they said:

"We hope that the study will help foundations carefully consider their approach to change-making, not just grantmaking, and explore appropriate staffing, structural, and cultural elements that allow them to be change-makers.” —Joe Goldman, President, Democracy Fund

“This study provides a thoughtful framework for rethinking organizational structure and staffing required to achieve significant impact. The study calls out key considerations — breaking silos to foster collaboration, engaging diverse perspectives, connecting every role to direct impact — when considering staffing models." —Kathleen Boyle Dalen, Chief Talent, Integration, and Culture Officer, and Kristin Bechard, Chief Financial Officer, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Read the full article about foundations creating impact philanthropy by Valerie Bockstette and Abigail Stevenson at FSG.