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  • 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 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
  • 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
  • Black and white graphic of person walking in the rain holding an umbrella. Some raindrops are in CEI's colors (indigo, pink, light indigo)

    publication Apr 2021

    Approaches to Learning Amid Crises: Reflections from Philanthropy

    Explore how foundations’ approaches to learning shaped their responses to the crises of 2020. In interviews with seven foundations from Canada and the U.S. in the summer and fall of 2020, the authors applied the lens of organizational learning to how each of these foundations made sense of their reality, asked different kinds of questions to inform their thinking, and acted in new or different ways as a result.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman, Dr. Albertina Lopez, Ben Liadsky, Andrew Taylor

    Approaches to Learning Amid Crises: Reflections from Philanthropy
  • publication Jan 2021

    Co-creating our story: A hybrid participatory case approach to evaluating and accelerating organizational change

    This brief describes an evaluative approach we took to an organizational change process at a foundation that could be useful to evaluators.

    By Tanya Beer, Susan Parker, Kurian Thomas, Anne Cullen Puente

    Co-creating our story: A hybrid participatory case approach to evaluating and accelerating organizational change
  • insight Aug 2020

    Can Foundations Radically Transform How They Learn?

    In 2020, we are seeing some fundamental shifts in how foundations are operating and attempting to learn. How might we use our experience right now to understand something new about the organizational and sector conditions that are necessary to make real and honest learning and adaptation possible and in service to equity?

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman, Jane Reisman, Ben Liadsky, Andrew Taylor

    Can Foundations Radically Transform How They Learn?
  • presentation Jul 2020

    Re-Thinking How We Work with Boards on Evaluation and Learning

    Most board room routines are based on the mental model that social change is a technocratic problem-solving endeavor. So we incentivize and reward staff who project a degree of certainty about how social change happens that's just not real because the change process is much more complex.

    By Tanya Beer

    Re-Thinking How We Work with Boards on Evaluation and Learning
  • publication Mar 2020

    Smart Decision-Making

    Even when evidence is available in the social sector, it is rarely used. A number of tools and tactics can help us become savvier consumers of information.

    By Tanya Beer, Julia Coffman

    Smart Decision-Making
  • Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices 2020

    publication Jan 2020

    Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices 2020

    What does foundation evaluation look like today? Is it adapting to meet the changing needs of the sector and society?

    By Tanya Beer, Mariah Brothe Gantz, Kat Athanasiades, Julia Coffman, Dr. Albertina Lopez

    Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices 2020