In our first year, 2014, we selected fourteen organizations, from almost 200 proposals, which presented the most promising approaches to:

  • Encourage and incorporate feedback from the people we seek to help
  • Understand the connection between perceptual feedback and better results
  • Foster more openness between and among foundations and grantees
  • Share lessons with the social sector to influence future practice

Initial open call for proposals (ended 10/15/14)


Our budget for 2014 is $6 million and we granted approximately $5.3 million of that this year. We had an open call for grant proposals during the month of September for the first year of grants from the Fund for Shared Insight. These were grants of $100,00 and higher with 1-3 year terms.

Over time, as more funders join the Fund for Shared Insight, we expect we may have more money to give away and funders who will align their own giving with this work.

Timeline for the proposal process

We want to be open about how we are approaching the grantmaking process for Fund for Shared Insight. The following graphic below depicts where we are in our grantmaking process today and will be updated over the course of our grantmaking cycle. To learn more about why we are conducting our grantmaking process in this way, please see Sharing Our Thinking for more information.


We received almost 200 proposals across all three funding categories. All 2014 grant applicants were notified of the grantmaking decision on Monday, November 17, 2014.

Grant funds were released to selected grantees before end of December, 2014.

Our 2014 open call for grant proposals closed on October 15, 2014. We are likely to re-open the call in fall 2015. Please sign up for our email list to get news and updates.

Fund for Shared Insight is looking for nonprofit partners who are interested in the following:

Three categories of grants


In an effort to be as clear and complete as possible, we are assessing proposals received based on the criteria below.

Threshold criteria for all Proposals in Year 1

  • U.S. 501c3  

  • Grant from Fund for Shared Insight will be no more than 20% of organization’s annual budget in any one year

  • Organization has sufficient capacity to execute the proposal, and capacity/plans to measure results

Additional considerations

  • Preference for organizations that are at least two years old (ideally not start-up organizations)
  • The overall portfolio of funded work will be more domestically focused in year 1, though some international/global projects may be funded

In addition to these essential criteria and other considerations, we have described specific funding criteria for each of the three categories and these can be found in the request for proposals below.

Funding criteria by category

I. RFP for Collaborative Approaches to Hearing from the People We Seek to Help: PRACTICE

GOAL: To advance the practice of nonprofits and foundations using feedback loops to listen to, learn from and act on what we hear from the people we seek to help.


  1. Threshold criteria: Previous experience running at least one feedback experiment
  2. Collaborative approach, including:
    1. Engaging nonprofit organizations and other practitioners who might together measure and use feedback from the people we seek to help to improve their work and/or
    2. Informing and engaging staffed foundations on the practice of collecting feedback from the people we seek to help (e.g. developing guides and tools, shared platforms, etc.) and/or
    3. Informing and engaging staffed foundations on using feedback from the people we seek to help to inform foundation practice
  3. People-oriented approach, including:
    1. The extent to which the ways of collecting feedback are relevant to the people we seek to help both in substance and in method
    2. Preference for efforts that work with people whose voices are not always heard and demonstrate feedback will be collected from a diverse set of voices (not just elite voices)
  4. Systematic, rigorous approach, including:
    1. Going beyond measuring people’s satisfaction
    2. Collecting data on a regular basis
    3. Generating data that can ideally be analyzed against a comparative data set for benchmarking and interpretation

II. RFP for Collaborative Approaches to Hearing from the People We Seek to Help: RESEARCH

GOAL: To advance the research base on integrating feedback from the people we seek to help such that it can better serve funders and practitioners including identifying ways feedback can best be collected and identifying of leading indicators of change


  1. Threshold criteria: Previous experience conducting research that includes perceptual data
  2. Systematic research about perceptions and experience of services, products, approaches and needs–going beyond measuring people’s satisfaction
  3. Research that seeks to establish links between people’s feedback and outcomes such that timely feedback from the people we seek to help on specific dimensions of their experience can serve as leading indicators of change
  4. Plans for research to be shared and translated to use by practitioners and staffed foundations

III. RFP for Efforts to Increase Foundation Openness

GOAL: To support the philanthropic infrastructure to broaden and/or deepen existing efforts to increase foundation openness in service of effectiveness.


  1. Threshold criteria: Previous work influencing foundation practice
  2. Preference criteria: Preference for funding expansion or evaluation of existing models, however we will consider new and innovative approaches as well
  3. Expands upon promising initial results from existing model/effort to promote more open sharing and listening among foundations
  4. Presents opportunity to evaluate and/or innovate existing model/effort to promote more open sharing among foundations

Examples of the 2014 RFPs

The following are examples of the 2014 requests for proposals (RFPs) in each of our three 2014 funding categories as a reference. Please note, these RFPs may change in future years.




General FAQs on our 2014 RFPs

FAQs for RFP I and II