The Missing Link for Maximizing Impact: Foundations Assessing Their Capacity

by Deepti Sood; Jared Raynor; Jessica Mowles; Melinda Fine

Jun 30, 2017

A rapidly changing, global sociopolitical environment requires foundations to be nimble in maximizing opportunities to advance their agendas. At the same time, grantmakers are establishing ever more ambitious goals that often require grantees to function at peak capacity. Why, then, have more foundations not assessed their own institutional capacity? This article discusses an assessment of 54 foundations that participated in taking a new tool, developed for funders by TCC Group, to explore five core capacity areas shown to be central to organizational effectiveness. The Foundation Core Capacity Assessment Tool's findings should not be seen as a report card, but rather a data-driven prompt for reflection and collective learning. While a diverse set of funders participated in this assessment, a larger pool will be needed to make broader statements about sectorwide trends. Nonetheless, the preliminary findings shared in this article do offer an unprecedented first look at how foundations are holistically assessing their institutional capacity as part of their efforts to maximize impact at a critical point in history.

The Missing Link for Maximizing Impact: Foundations Assessing Their Capacity
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