Transparency Talk

Category: "Grantee/Stakeholder Relationships" (68 posts)

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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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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From Cardboard to the Cloud: Grantmaking Systems in an Era of Collaboration and Learning
April 6, 2016

The Surdna Foundation’s first grants management system was made of cardboard: it was a shoebox filled with index cards and later evolved into a custom-built system. Surdna has since ditched the cardboard for the cloud, which has helped the foundation become more open, streamlined and transparent.

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Size Doesn't Matter
March 28, 2016

The Mary Black Foundation joins Foundation Center's "Reporting Commitment," an initiative to develop more timely, accurate, and precise reporting on the flow of philanthropic dollars. The foundation is among 19 U.S. foundations contributing to the transparency of the field and the knowledge resources that drive philanthropic impact.

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Innovation Trends: The Influence of Transparency Across Multiple Sectors
February 25, 2016

A thoughtful and recently released report from Weber Shandwick –“Innovation Trends: Always-On Transparency” – investigates how transparency and openness can be implemented into organizations across corporate, social and public sectors. Working in an open way can accelerate effectiveness in unexpected ways.

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Big Philanthropy’s Social Impact Depends on Its Social License
January 14, 2016

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative opened up an important debate on how “big philanthropy” relates to the broader community. Policy & Research Manager Krystian Seibert of Philanthropy Australia explores what kind of actions can enhance this relationship to maximize philanthropy’s social impact.

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Serving the Public Good (by Invitiation Only)
November 30, 2015

Currently, only 28% of foundations are accepting unsolicited proposals from grantseekers. Foundation Center's president Brad Smith discusses why this is problematic for philanthropy, and suggests solutions for both foundations and nonprofits.

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Grantmaker Transparency: The Dawn of a New Age in Philanthropy
November 16, 2015

Aaron Lester of Fluxx explores how philanthropy is making the switch from a traditionally opaque business model to an enterprise that embraces more transparency. Large foundations - such as Gates, Ford and Getty - are already sharing sharing their endeavors with the public, surveying and sharing the results of their grantees, and creating searchable grants databases.

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The Parting Glass
July 20, 2015

When the Paul Rapoport Foundation decided to commence spend-down in 2009, staff committed to closing the Foundation's doors with as much transparency as possible.

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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

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