Transparency Talk

Category: "Effectiveness" (69 posts)

If An Evaluation Was Commissioned But Never Shared, Did It Really Exist?
November 15, 2016

Very few foundations consistently share their evaluations with their grantees, other foundations, or the public. Why are foundations not sharing the lessons from commissioned evaluations?

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The Foundation Transparency Challenge
November 2, 2016

I often get asked which foundations are the most transparent, closely followed by the more skeptical line of questioning about whether the field of philanthropy is actually becoming more transparent, or just talking more about it. When Glasspockets launched six years ago, a little less than 7 percent of foundations had a web presence; today that has grown to a still underwhelming 10 percent. So, the reality is that transparency remains a challenge for the majority of foundations, but some are making it a priority to open up their work. Our new Foundation Transparency Challenge infographic is designed to help foundations tackle the transparency challenge. It provides an at-a-glance overview of how and why foundations are prioritizing transparency, inventories common strengths and pain points across the field, and highlights good examples that can serve as inspiration for others in areas that represent particular challenges to the field.

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The Annual Report is Dead. Long Live the Annual Report!
October 13, 2016

Tableau Foundation has ditched its paper report in favor of a live interactive annual report that will provide better, more timely information. This innovative effort provides updates weekly, and most pages have interactive capabilities that allow anyone to explore the data.

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How the Lack of Market Feedback Puts Foundations At Risk and What Some Funders Are Doing About It
October 7, 2016

Market feedback loops are critical to the survival of foundations and nonprofits. Identifying trends and addressing weaknesses can help organizations make changes to attract the necessary resources and avoid financial pitfalls.

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Flooding the Locks: Philanthropy’s Knowledge Conduits
August 3, 2016

Uniquely positioned to embrace risk, foundations should tread outside their comfort zone to achieve large-scale, systemic change; but they should also learn from the Panama Canal’s massive gamble. When making big bets, transparency, data-informed decisions, accountability, and clarity of process lead to better outcomes.

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Get Open: Leaders Reflect on Glasspockets' Impact
July 27, 2016

Sharing strategy, knowledge, processes, and best practices in philanthropy is better for everyone – from the grantmakers to grantees and the communities they serve. In our new video, Glasspockets: Making the Case for Transarency, philanthropy leaders reflect on the positive impact that Glasspockets and working more openly has made on their work.

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What's Your Story?: Q&A with Kenneth Rainin Foundation's Amanda Flores-Witte
July 21, 2016

(The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, which recently joined the Glasspockets transparency movement, shares how innovation, technology and creativity played a role in telling its story in its annual report. Janet Camerena is director of transparency initiatives at Foundation Center. Amanda Flores-Witte is senior communications officer at Kenneth Rainin Foundation.) Janet Camarena: Increasingly, foundations are wondering whether there is still a need for the time and expense of issuing an Annual Report. The thinking goes that with the advent of informative foundation websites, that perhaps the annual report is an antiquated ritual. The Kenneth Rainin Foundation recently updated this ritual by issuing...

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Glasspockets Find: Exponent Philanthropy Video Series Encourages Transparency
July 14, 2016

Embracing failure has the potential to maximize effective and impact in philanthropy. This trend of self-reflection and sharing lessons learned among foundation and funder leaders is encouraging transparency and opening up the work of grantmakers.

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Eye On: Marc and Lynne Benioff
July 7, 2016

Tech billionaire Marc Benioff has established himself as a philanthropist and as a thought leader who advocates for his corporate philanthropy peers to step up their giving. Marc and Lynne Benioff recently joined the Giving Pledge, with the hope they might encourage others to create an impact in the communities they live and work.

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IRS Releases 990 Forms as Machine-Readable Data
June 16, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service has formally begun the release of foundation 990-PF (and 990) tax returns as machine-readable, open data, making it easier for anyone to search the forms digitally for information about an organization's finances, trustees, lobbying activities, and salaries.

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About Transparency Talk

  • Transparency Talk, the Glasspockets blog, is a platform for candid and constructive conversation about foundation transparency and accountability. In this space, Foundation Center highlights strategies, findings, and best practices on the web and in foundations–illuminating the importance of having "glass pockets."

    The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation Center.

    Questions and comments may be
    directed to:

    Janet Camarena
    Director, Transparency Initiatives
    Foundation Center

    If you are interested in being a
    guest contributor, contact:
    glasspockets@foundationcenter.org

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