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  • publication Oct 2023

    2023 Benchmarking Foundation Learning & Evaluation Practices

    The most comprehensive review of evaluation and learning practices at foundations, this report offers benchmarking data on foundation learning and evaluation practices collected in 2023.

    By Mariah Brothe Gantz, Kayla Christopherson, Kat Athanasiades, Julia Coffman, Dr. Chera Reid, Dr. Albertina Lopez

    2023 Benchmarking Foundation Learning & Evaluation Practices
  • publication Sep 2023

    Using Developmental Evaluation to Support Adaptive Strategies: An Application from a Social Change Initiative

    The chapter, authored by and written from the perspective of both strategists and evaluators, describes the methods used, how the evaluation informed strategy, and reections and lessons on the developmental evaluation experience and approach.

    By Tanya Beer, Kathy Armstrong, Julia Coffman, Daniel Stid

    Using Developmental Evaluation to Support Adaptive Strategies: An Application from a Social Change Initiative
  • publication Aug 2023

    Supporting Advocacy Ecosystems to Build Power

    Organizers need the support of other actors—professional advocates, think tanks and policy shops, researchers, communications firms, funders, evaluators, and others—to recognize the critical role of organizing and to share the long-term goal of building people power.

    By Julia Coffman

    Supporting Advocacy Ecosystems to Build Power
  • publication Jun 2023

    Amplifying Nonprofit Voices: Bridging the Advocacy Evaluation Gap

    To better understand advocates’ perspectives and bridge the gap between their evaluation needs and the field of evaluation practice, this research surveyed U.S. nonprofit advocates and recommends six ways that the advocacy evaluation field can shift toward more advocate-focused practice.

    By Susan Hoechstetter, Shannon Williams, Annette Garnder

    Amplifying Nonprofit Voices: Bridging the Advocacy Evaluation Gap
  • publication May 2023

    Toward Power-Shifting Solidarity with Black-Led Change

    This research considers the question: What will it take for institutional philanthropy in MN and beyond to move at the speed of courage and invest wholly in Black lives?

    By Repa Mekha, Lyle Matthew Kanpez, Lulete Mola, Lori Villarosa, Dr. Chera Reid, Dr. Albertina Lopez, Chanda Smith Baker, Ben Francisco Maulbeck

    Toward Power-Shifting Solidarity with Black-Led Change
  • publication Feb 2023

    Advocacy that Builds Parents’ Power

    CEI partnered with the Center on the Ecology of Early Development to evaluate two projects that supported state policy advocates in advancing equity by centering parents in their early childhood advocacy efforts. This report offers findings on the approach states used, the progress they made, and the barriers they encountered.

    By Sheniqua Jeffrey, Melly Kitenge, Mariah Brothe Gantz, Laura Ottoni, Julia Coffman, Dr. Stephanie Curenton-Jolly, Amber Sansbury

    Advocacy that Builds Parents’ Power
  • publication Jul 2022

    A Tool for Systems Change that Supports Learning in Foundations

    Foundations are systems. They have their own cultures and related assumptions, norms, standards, and practices. We encourage foundations to take stock of their learning needs with a dispassionate (evaluative) look at themselves as systems and how people work within them.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman, Jane Reisman

    A Tool for Systems Change that Supports Learning in Foundations
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    publication Jan 2022

    Lost Causal: Debunking Myths About Causal Analysis in Philanthropy

    Causal analysis is not just for controlled programmatic work, it is also for dynamic and emergent strategies that include network building, field building, advocacy, organizing, or movements.

    By Sarah Stachowiak, Julia Coffman, Jewlya Lynn

    Lost Causal: Debunking Myths About Causal Analysis in Philanthropy
  • publication Nov 2021

    We need to articulate our assumptions so that we can test them. Here’s a guide to help.

    This four-page guidance defines assumptions, explains why it is critical to articulate them, and then offers a set of prompting questions to help elicit them. Examples are included.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    We need to articulate our assumptions so that we can test them. Here’s a guide to help.
  • A black and white abstract image with CEI colors sprinkled throughout

    publication Aug 2021

    Holding Foundations Accountable for Equity Commitments

    Philanthropy needs to transform the structures and processes through which foundations hold power, including how they conceive of and operationalize accountability through their approaches to strategy development, evaluation, and grantee reporting and monitoring.

    By Tanya Beer, Patti Patrizi, Julia Coffman

    Holding Foundations Accountable for Equity Commitments