Giving Compass' Take:

• A Feedback Labs group discussed how funder collaboratives could become more strategic and responsive when making decisions regarding social impact work. 

• What are the benefits of funder collaboratives? What can individual donors learn from these practices? 

• Read about collaborative funding for systems change.

Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI) is a collaborative of funders committed to building a more just, equitable, and inclusive society through greater transparency, accountability, and effective participation around the globe. TAI helps its members to strengthen the impact and effectiveness of their transparency and accountability funding, and the field as a whole.

When it came time to evaluate their 2016-2019 strategy period, TAI made sure to engage their funder members in the strategic review process. Funder members worked alongside the TAI Secretariat to inform the evaluation, make sense of the findings, and translate learnings into a forthcoming strategy for 2020-2024. With the new 2020-2024 strategy will come a revised monitoring, evaluation, and learning system, and TAI came to the LabStorm group for advice on continued funder engagement in this process.

TAI wants to improve the way they engage with funders by communicating their culture of curiosity to new and current partners, balancing frequent feedback from funder members with more strategic adaptations, and incentivizing positive change among members. For many members of the feedback community, these are relatable challenges. It was a lively LabStorm, with lots of creative ideas from attendees across the spectrum of social impact work. Here’s what they had to say:

Lead with principles. In order to communicate their culture of learning, attendees suggested that TAI define learning and curiosity as “core principles”.

Set expectations. TAI is committed to influencing positive change among their funder members, and the transparency and accountability funding landscape as a whole.

Plan for feedback around anticipated needs or uses. As TAI continues to build mutually trusting relationships with their funder members, they want to be open to feedback without letting constant feedback slow them down or redirect their strategic actions.

Feedback and learning strategies can be different things. It is challenging for TAI to balance feedback and responsiveness to members with more systematic learning and adaptation.

Read the full article about funder collaborative by Alison Miranda at FeedbackLabs.