Packard Foundation OE Launches Their Strategy Refresh Site | Beth's Blog

Packard Foundation OE Launches Their Strategy Refresh Site


Note From Beth: Last month I had the pleasure of co-presenting at the GEO Conference (Grantmakers for Effective Organizations) with Kathy Reich, Director, Organizational Effectiveness Program at the Packard Foundation and Jared Raynor, Director of Evaluation at TCC Group, that helped OE analyze its “goldmine” of grantee data.  The learning in public (slides and resources here).  During the conference, “a small army of guest bloggers [and] grantmakers, who [attended GEO] posted their reflections on the session and LIP in general on my blog.  These are here:

This post is from the OE Team at the Packard Foundation about the next steps in their public learning journey as part of program review.

Packard Foundation OE Launches Their Strategy Refresh – Guest Post by the Packard OE Team

We at the Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness Program (OE) spend a lot of time thinking about how organizations and programs work, and how to improve their impact and reach. Now we want to turn the tables and take a look at our own program through a strategy refresh. This is a periodic review every program at Packard undergoes to update their strategies.

In keeping true to our values of transparency and openness, we plan to share our efforts as they evolve. Many of you are already familiar with our OE wiki site, and now we’ve also created a new experimental strategic planning site using WordPress.  The whole process will be documented and coordinated through this site.

We’re also using this site to solicit input about some key areas we’re considering in our program design. In particular, we’re hoping to learn more about what others do around:

1) The use of intermediaries
2) Participation in peer learning communities
3) The use of consultants for capacity building
4) Building capacity building infrastructure in underserved areas abroad, such as South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
5) The use of organizational assessments

Please follow any of these links to see our questions and to share your experiences, thoughts or advice on any of these areas. This feedback will help us as we consider any changes we might make to our grantmaking philosophy, requirements, and possible areas of exploration.

To help inform our process, over the next months we will:
1) Reach out to our colleagues within our Foundation for feedback on how the OE program can best work with their programs and grantees.
2) Highlight key questions about our program on our strategy refresh site, as noted above.
3) Interview other funders with similar programs to see how they conduct their OE work.
4) Engage grantees, consultants and other stakeholders, possibly through interviews, focus groups and webinars.
5) Continue to assess our grantmaking, including building on the Goldmine Research Project and Monitor’s Network Learning to look at case studies of making multiple grants to a single grantee.

We’re really excited about this process and we’d love your feedback!

OE Staff: (left-to-right) Gurpreet, Dora, Kathy, Cheryl, Brian

The OE Team:   Flowing from Packard Foundation’s Founders’ business philosophy of nurturing leaders and giving them the freedom to pursue promising approaches, the Packard Foundation assists in building the leadership skills and management capacity of their grantees.   The Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy program supports their current grantees to allow them to undertake projects that transform their organizations in a sustained and meaningful way. These grants address the many organizational and capacity challenges that may affect nonprofits—from strategic planning and board development needs to mergers and executive transitions.  To this end, they advance the organizational effectiveness of current Foundation grantees by supporting projects that improve their management, governance, and leadership by developing strategies, systems, structures, and skills. The Foundation also makes grants to help advance and support the field of private philanthropy.

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