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.
©2015 SurveyMonkey


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.

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.