What is the Fund for Shared Insight?
Fund for Shared Insight (“Shared Insight”) is a collaborative effort among funders that pools financial and other resources to make grants to improve philanthropy. Shared Insight emerged from our belief that foundations will be more effective and make an even bigger difference in the world if we are more open – if we share what we are learning and are open to what others want to share with us, including grantees and the people we seek to help.
Shared Insight aims to do this by providing grants to nonprofit organizations to encourage and incorporate feedback from the people we seek to help; understand the connection between feedback and better results; foster more openness between and among foundations and grantees; and share what we learn.
Learn more about Fund for Shared Insight
How did the Fund for Shared Insight come about?
The Fund for Shared Insight is a collaboration between seven funders that formed organically in 2013 and 2014. Shared Insight officially launched in July 2014, and operates with a rigorous, but emergent approach to strategy and commitment to measurement.
In 2013, Fay Twersky, the newly appointed Director of the Effective Philanthropy Group at the Hewlett Foundation engaged other funders in small groups across the country. The goal of these meetings was to hear from other foundations about how we could improve philanthropy given the relatively small pie of funding for philanthropic infrastructure organizations and the simultaneous growth in the number of foundations. We knew this challenge would be best tackled through collaborative funding – bringing not only more dollars, but also more attention to improving philanthropy.
The plan for creating a pooled fund to support improving philanthropy was also shaped by some funders’ experience with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s capital aggregation work. The group of interested funders believed creating a pooled fund will be an effective and efficient way to learn together, signal seriousness and commitment, and ensure continuity of funding beyond any individual at any single foundation. The group also believed pooled funding can streamline the grantmaking process for prospective grantees, leverage resources, and distribute risk for individual funders.
In February 2014, we held a preliminary meeting of interested funders and the group agreed that our strategy to improve philanthropy would focus on increasing openness in foundations and in particular hearing from the people we seek to help. We set up a fund at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and officially kicked off the Fund for Shared Insight at a July 2014 meeting in which we formalized our strategic framework, theory of change, and plan for making the first year of grants in Fall 2014.
Watch Fay Twersky, Co-Chair of Shared Insight, present on the work of Shared Insight
Video (20 min 35 sec)
To learn more, read the Shared Insight FAQs.