Transparency Talk

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Glasspockets Find: Giving Voice to Your Grantmaking
August 2, 2011

The Haas, Jr. FundThe Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund recently introduced First-Person Stories, an online feature of first-hand accounts by individuals whose lives are impacted by the work supported by the foundation. As the foundation explains, "We seldom have the opportunity to understand who they are, where they are from, and what they are capable of contributing to our communities and society." In this way, storytelling becomes a vehicle for transparency: the Haas, Jr. Fund uses First-Person Stories to communicate which communities it serves, the social impact of its grants, and the core values of its foundation.

To begin to collect its narratives, the Haas, Jr. Fund collaborated with Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Dave Eggers and his nonprofit organization, Voice of Witness, which uses oral history to empower those most affected by contemporary social injustice. Eggers and his staff believe there is a "limitless learning potential in increasing one’s capacity to listen without judgment."

First-Person Stories showcases the human side of the Haas, Jr. Fund’s work, gives voice to its grantmaking and its grantees, and makes the foundation’s mission more accessible and easily understood.

Which other grantmakers are using storytelling to reveal and enhance the social impact of their efforts--while also being more transparent?

-- Mark Foley


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There is a webinar that discusses this very thing - independently publishing stories, films and music that showcases a non-profit organization's good works in communities and around the world. For more information on this webinar published by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, please visit this link. More non-profits should follow this example.

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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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