CEI was founded in 2009 to work with foundations and other evaluators on advancing evaluation and learning in philanthropy so that it helps to produce better and faster results. Our specialty was (and still is) supporting evaluation and learning practice in areas that are challenging to assess and where traditional approaches to evaluation are not a good fit, which tend to be areas of high complexity, such as advocacy and systems change.
In 2019, we reflected internally on our first decade of work, and reconsidered our mission, strategy, and operating model.
We contemplated our values and purpose alongside the needs of the philanthropic sector. We asked: How can CEI co-conspire with those who are transforming philanthropy into a powerful force for advancing racial equity and justice?
We refreshed our mission because we believe philanthropy has a higher purpose in the call for a transition to a just, multiracial democracy. CEI has long been quietly studying how power operates in social change work. We think it is time to make this more visible so that we can broaden and deepen our impact.