Listen for Good (L4G) is a grant initiative of Fund for Shared Insight launched in 2016 that is dedicated to building the practice of listening to the people we seek to help. L4G is structured as a multi-sector partnership between Fund for Shared Insight; SurveyMonkey – a private company with a scaled survey platform; co-funders; and U.S.-based nonprofit organizations. In 2016, we made 46 Listen for Good grants supported by 28 nominating co-funders.
The goal of L4G is to explore a simple but systematic and rigorous way of collecting feedback from the people we seek to help, as well as to help nonprofit organizations, across issue areas, populations served, geographies, and budget levels, to build the practice of high quality feedback loops with those they serve.
Organizations implementing Listen for Good are all customer-facing nonprofits that use a semi-standard survey tool to solicit feedback from their ultimate beneficiaries. 2017 grantees of L4G will receive $45,000 over two years ($30,000 from Shared Insight and $15,000 from a nominating co-funder) as well as access to technical assistance to guide their implementation efforts. The core standardized feedback tool is simple, consisting of six basic questions* asked across all participating organizations:
1. How likely is it that you would recommend […] to a friend or family member?
2. What is […] good at?
3. What could […] do better?
4. How much of a positive difference has […] made in your life?
5. Overall, how well has […] met your needs?
6. How often do staff at […] treat you with respect?
The quantitative and qualitative responses to the Listen for Good survey are gathered using a variety of data collection methods including kiosks, tablets, paper surveys, and in-person interviews, and in multiple languages when appropriate. SurveyMonkey provides benchmarks to compare organizations’ responses to those of organizations addressing similar issues. Through our high-quality technical assistance, we help organizations step-by-step with collecting, interpreting and responding to feedback.
We look forward to sharing what we learn as we continue to scale this effort and reach more co-funders and customer-facing nonprofit organizations across the country and support them to listen for good.
*These questions may change slightly (though not significantly) in 2017 based on what we’re learning from the 46 organizations who are already implementing Listen for Good in 2016.
Purpose of Listen for Good
With the Listen for Good initiative, Fund for Shared Insight aims to:
- Support diverse "customer-facing" nonprofits to either initiate or improve their practice of systematically collecting and using feedback from the people they seek to help. By diverse, we mean nonprofits with a variety of issue areas on which they focus, populations served, geographies, and budget sizes.
- Accelerate the building of infrastructure needed for strong beneficiary feedback loops in the social sector, including the technology, analytics, reporting, capacity-building, and access to tools and benchmarks.
- Experiment and learn about applying/adapting the Net Promoter System (NPS®) to the beneficiary feedback context – including determining what questions "work" for organizations and beginning to build out benchmarks in key issue areas (e.g. human services, community and economic development, employment training, etc.).
- Engage more funders in supporting, using and valuing beneficiary feedback by structuring Listen for Good as a co-funding/matching grant opportunity.
- Capture and share lessons learned with grantees, co-funders and the field to positively catalyze the feedback movement and inform the work going forward.
How Organizations Can Participate in 2017
We are thrilled to announce that we will be offering up to 75 Listen for Good grants in 2017.
In order to engage more funders in supporting beneficiary feedback efforts and using the data to inform their work, Listen for Good is structured as a co-funding engagement. To participate in Listen for Good, a nonprofit must be nominated by a current funder (existing or new). If the nonprofit(s) a funder nominates is selected to participate in Listen for Good, the nominating funder will contribute $15,000 of the $45,000 grant total for each nonprofit selected.* Grantees will receive a grant of $45,000 over two years: $30,000 paid the first year and $15,000 the second year.
We will accept proposals from funder-nominated nonprofits until Friday, May 26, 2017 at 11:59pm pacific time. There will be several informational webinars offered to answer applicants’ questions (see below for dates/times and to register). Participation in these webinars is optional and will not influence funding decisions.
There is a lot more information in the Request for Proposal document and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) documents posted below in Proposal and Related Documents including details about how we define beneficiaries, high quality feedback loops, and the Net Promoter System (NPS®). We strongly encourage organizations to read through these materials before joining a webinar to ask questions.
* Grantees that are nominated by Shared Insight Core Funders are fully funded by the core funder.
Applicant Criteria, Expectations, and Guidelines
In 2017, Fund for Shared Insight is offering Listen for Good grants through a nationwide, open request for proposal (RFP) process.
Applicants must meet the criteria and agree to the expectations and guidelines as follows:
- Applicants must be U.S.-based, 501c3 public charities whose work is focused domestically in the United States (and thus all clients surveyed as part of Listen for Good must be US-based clients).
- Applicants must have a minimum annual budget of $500,000 in the current (2017) and previous (2016) fiscal year.
- Applicants must be customer-facing and thus have ultimate beneficiaries whom they serve from whom it would make sense to collect feedback about their experience with the organization’s programs and/or services.
- Applicants must serve at least 100 beneficiaries annually and have intentions to survey a minimum of 50 respondents for each cycle of Listen for Good.
- Applicants must serve, and plan to implement feedback loops with, clients whose voices are least heard (see FAQs for more detail on what this does – and doesn’t – mean).
- Applicants must be nominated by a co-funder willing to contribute $15,000 to Fund for Shared Insight’s Listen for Good Initiative in support of the grant. All the funder needs to do is confirm with the nonprofit that they will provide this grant. The nonprofit will provide the nominating co-funder information on their submitted application.
EXPECTATIONS and GUIDELINES
- Grant recipients agree to implement the Listen for Good question set with data collection via the SurveyMonkey online platform, to participate in technical assistance offerings provided by Fund for Shared Insight, and to participate in a third party evaluation of the Listen for Good project. In addition to the two-year/$45,000 grant, Listen for Good grantees will receive a fully paid two-year subscription to SurveyMonkey’s platform and benchmarks, as well as two years of technical assistance provided by the Fund for Shared Insight.
- Both grantees and co-funders will have access to specific Shared Insight resources, convenings, etc. throughout the two-year grant.
- Listen for Good implementation can be in one or multiple programs within an organization.
- Through SurveyMonkey, Listen for Good supports data collection in four languages currently: English, Spanish, Chinese (traditional characters), and Vietnamese. Grantees wishing to survey in other languages are free to do so but must manually enter their data into one of these preformatted language surveys on SurveyMonkey’s platform.
Proposal and Related Documents
- Online Request for Proposals (RFP) for Funder-Nominated Nonprofit Organizations - available soon
Please subscribe to our email updates in the page footer to receive notice of our open request for proposal in 2017. Organizations can submit their proposal materials anytime until May 26. 2017 at 11:59pm Pacific time.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Nonprofits – available soon
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Funders – available soon
- Reporting Requirements for Listen for Good grant – available soon
Informational Webinars for Co-Funders and Nonprofit Applicants
We are holding a series of open conference calls to answer questions from potential co-funders about how to nominate a grantee(s) for Listen for Good. Based on previous webinars, we are updating our frequently asked questions (FAQs) documents that will be provided above. Please read these FAQs first before asking your questions via email or the conference calls to make the best use of everyone's valuable time. Thank you!
- Monday, March 13, 10:30am Pacific/1:30pm Eastern Register here
- Tuesday, March 21, 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern Register here
FOR NONPROFIT APPLICANTS
In order to be as clear as possible about our criteria for the Listen for Good requests for proposal (RFP), we are holding a series of open conference calls to hear your questions and provide as many answers as possible. Based on previous webinars, we are updating our frequently asked questions (FAQs) documents that will be provided above. Please read these FAQs first before asking your questions via email or the conference calls to make the best use of everyone's valuable time. Thank you!
Grants in 2016
In 2016, we made 46 Listen for Good grants supported by 28 nominating co-funders. The structure of Listen for Good and criteria/expectations/guidelines for 2017 are largely the same as they were in 2016.
The changes we made and rationales are as follows:
- We can make more grants in 2017 than we could in 2016, due to having (1) allocated additional funds to this program and (2) lowering the amount for nominating co-funders (which may enable more funders to participate).
- In 2016, the grants were $60,000/2 years and in 2017 they are $45,000/2 years. We believe that there are start-up costs to getting Listen for Good going and want organizations to have the funding necessary to support staff time, buy materials as needed, and so forth. That said, it’s pretty clear that the costs go down in the second year in most cases, so we’ve re-calibrated size accordingly.
- We increased the minimum organization budget size as we felt that it needed to be higher in order for organizations to have sufficient capacity to implement Listen for Good in light of other work commitments.
- We will add additional technical assistance providers this year because we are making more grants.
- Finally, we may make changes to the standard question set this year, based on what we’re learning from the organizations who were funded and started implementing Listen for Good in 2016.
Articles and Resources
- An Under-Tapped Source of Insight: Listening to the People We Seek to Help February 2017
- Listening to Beneficiaries Helps Nonprofits Learn What Doesn’t Work December 2016
- Closing the Feedback Loop (PDF, 2MB) Summer 2016
Read the article online (Subscription required)
- Net Promoter System: Experimenting with SMS surveys in the Philippines November 2015
- Brief Review: Use of NPS To Gather Beneficiary Feedback In the Nonprofit Sector August 2015
- Net Promoter Score for the Nonprofit Sector: What We’ve Learned So Far July 2015
- Net Promoter Score for Nonprofits? June 2015
- Why We All Need to Listen for Good June 2015
How to Learn More
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