What We Fund
Shared Insight makes grants* to 501(c)(3) organizations in support of efforts to improve openness, collaboration, and feedback between and among funders, grantees, and the people we in the nonprofit sector ultimately seek to help. Shared Insight is committed to incorporating lenses of diversity, equity, and inclusion in its work, and places special emphasis on efforts that bring society’s least-heard voices to the fore.
To date, Shared Insight’s growing collaborative has awarded $14.5-million to nonprofits across the U.S. with the distinct, yet overlapping, goals of advancing
- the practice of using feedback loops to hear from the people we seek to help;
- research in the feedback field; and
- efforts to increase foundation openness.
*We do not make program-related investments, enter into contracts for this work, or invest in for-profit organizations.
Feedback Practice/Listen for Good
(We are now accepting RFPs for Listen for Good’s 2017 Fall Round. Please see the application page for more information.)
Fund for Shared Insight is dedicated to helping the sector build and implement feedback loops that allow us to listen to, learn from, and act on what we hear from the people we seek to help.
Building on our experience with our first set of feedback practice grantees, we sought to create a ripple eﬀect, engaging more funders and more nonproﬁts committed to improving and developing regular, robust, and scalable feedback processes.
Our answer: Listen for Good (L4G), an initiative launched in 2016, dedicated to building simple, robust, and systematic feedback loops by broadly applying the Net Promoter System (NPS®), a widely-used customer-service tool, to the nonprofit beneficiary context. L4G is a multi-sector partnership that allows customer-facing nonproﬁts to use a semi-standard survey tool to solicit feedback that provides important and actionable ideas to improve their services and participant experiences.
In 2016, Shared Insight made 46 L4G grants. In 2017, we plan to make up to 75 more.
(We are not accepting new proposals for feedback research at this time.)
Fund for Shared Insight believes that establishing an evidence base is an integral part of responsibly building a new practice. We are interested in identifying what tools and methods work best to collect, analyze, and use feedback data. And we hope to continue to fund efforts to reach our ultimate research goal: establishing links between perceptual data and outcome data. This is when listening to beneficiaries becomes not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. We have seen some examples of these linkages in health care and education, where patient or student perceptions during service delivery are linked to certain outcomes. Identifying, understanding, and acting on these kinds of leading indicators can help us create better outcomes for more of the people we serve. This research is a long-term proposition, but, we think, an important one.
(As of July 2016, we are not accepting new proposals to increase foundation openness.)
Fund for Shared Insight emerged from the belief that we as funders are the most effective and can do the most good in the world if we are more open. Foundations should be a key player in the feedback process, opening ourselves wide to listen to and act on what we hear from our grantees and the people we seek to help. And foundations should be collaborative players, sharing among each other and the sector at large information about goals and strategies, lessons learned, how decisions are made, and how progress is measured. In 2016-2017, Shared Insight is providing more than $2.5-million to support new and existing efforts to advance the culture and practice of foundation openness in the service of effectiveness.