When pursuing deep social impact, an important part of the journey is creating space to reflect on what you have done, where you are currently, and where you would like to go. The reflection process doesn’t always come with a roadmap, which means it can be challenging yet rewarding. Through our evaluation work with donors, we know measuring the results of philanthropic efforts can be difficult. We often say one of the most important goals is to listen and learn, and to use key learnings to inform future strategies and directions. We encourage all funders to reflect on your efforts, assess where you are, and share what you learn along the way. As part five of our “30 Lessons” blog series, based on our 30th anniversary publication 30 Lessons in Pursuit of Deep Social Impact, we offer five lessons on reflection, assessment, and sharing.

  • Take time for reflection and future planning.
  • Keep evaluations practical and relevant.
  • Don’t lose the forest for the trees.
  • Distinguish between attribution and contribution.
  • Share and learn from successes – and failures.

Read the full article about strategic philanthropy by Leslie Pine at The Philanthropic Initiative.