Giving Compass’ Take:
• Lisa Ranghelli describes how the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation leveraged an iterative approach to increase their impact by responding to new information.
• How can other organizations shift to this model?
• Learn more about the importance of feedback.
Over the last decade, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) took an iterative approach to Moving the Needle (MTN). In fact, the Foundation took stock about halfway through that period and made midcourse corrections. As one of the stakeholder interviews conducted as part of the Reflection, Analysis, Planning (RAP) process reflected:
What we’ve got in the poor areas of Arkansas are people who want just as much, will work just as hard, but will need some capacity building to get to a point that they can believe and do some of the things that they want. Part of the work in this area is going to be exposing people to how good it can be so they have legitimate goals in place that they are working towards.
According to an internal report about the Foundation’s analysis of its place-based investments, “As part of MTN 2.0, the Foundation recognized the importance of building the capacity of key intermediary organizations that organize, engage, and mobilize Arkansas residents in support of local and state-level policy change.” After getting feedback and reflecting on what was and was not working well, the Foundation shifted its place-based strategy away from direct engagement in select locations to investments in nonprofits that had a track record of effective community building.
WRF has a strong learning culture that was key to what the Foundation and its partners accomplished throughout MTN, which no doubt contributed to MTN’s impact on prosperity, education, community strength, and nonprofit infrastructure in Arkansas.
Read the full article about the iterative approach by Lisa Ranghelli at Medium.
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