Academic journal article The Foundation Review

Editorial

Academic journal article The Foundation Review

Editorial

Article excerpt

dear readers

This issue includes four articles that provide in-depth thinking on some emerging innovations in foundations. We also review four new resources.

As foundations and communities continue to look for ways to assess progress, there has been increasing attention to community level indicators. Borders, Edwards, and Miller share the lessons from their experiences with helping grantmakers increase the effectiveness of data-intensive, large-scale community-indicator work. Rather than tracking many individual indicators, the authors argue that statistically derived composite indicators can be viewed at smaller geographic levels, leading to increased accuracy and understanding. While many in the field have argued for choosing a few simple indicators to focus on, this approach provides a much more comprehensive look at community data, preserving both complexity and simplicity.

Tran and Shah explore the California HealthCare Foundation's internal efforts to institutionalize organizational learning. Over the past ten years, many foundations have begun talking about being learning organizations, the innovation at CHF is to use design thinking to develop their approach to learning.

Stahl offers a Talent Philanthropy Framework as a means to address the human resource challenges of nonprofits. While there has been much discussion in the philanthropic sector about the human resources issues facing nonprofits as the boomer generation retires, there has been little in the way of practical advice on how to address it. The author proposes 10 guiding principles that foundations can use to encourage and empower nonprofits to strengthen their talent.

Picking up on the learning theme, Patrizi, Thompson, Coffman, and Beer offer an insightful and original analysis of the importance of foundations incorporating learning as part of their overall strategy. While learning is important for strategic success in most circumstances, it becomes essential when foundations engage in many large and extraordinarily difficult and complex concerns. …

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