What is Listen for Good?
Listen for Good (L4G) is a Fund for Shared Insight initiative dedicated to building the practice of listening to the people we seek to help, especially those whose voices are least heard. We invite nonprofits and funders to join us in exploring a simple but systematic and rigorous way to create high-quality feedback loops. L4G is focused on applying a semi-standard survey instrument — which includes using the Net Promoter System (NPS®) employed widely in customer feedback circles — to the nonprofit client context. The project, both a grantmaking and capacity-building initiative, is designed to build key infrastructure for the field, such as external benchmarks, communities of practice, and technical-assistance resources.
Nonprofits participating in Listen for Good (L4G) receive a capacity-building grant and access to technical assistance to help them build internal systems and expertise for collecting and responding to feedback from those they serve. Since 2016, Shared Insight has made 217 L4G grants totaling $9.4 million, elevating the voices of more than 90,000 individuals served by nonprofits nationwide.
L4G will be sharing its learnings and tools more broadly, leveraging a strategic partnership with SurveyMonkey. Our aim by 2020 is to have a publicly available set of resources and tools that any nonprofit can use to systematically gather and respond to feedback from those they seek to help. While we piloted L4G with U.S.-based direct-service organizations, we are now pursuing opportunities beyond L4G to extend high-quality feedback infrastructure to advocacy organizations and to groups that work internationally.
We are no longer accepting applications for the current Listen for Good grant round. The submission period ended June 29, 2018. Please see below to learn more about L4G, and subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates as we continue to scale the program. (For additional information about past rounds, nonprofits can click here; funders, here.)
What is the purpose of Listen for Good?
With the Listen for Good initiative, Fund for Shared Insight aims to:
- Support diverse, customer-facing nonprofits to initiate or improve their practice of systematically collecting and using feedback from the people they seek to help whose voices are least heard.
- Accelerate the building of infrastructure needed for strong beneficiary feedback loops in the social sector, including technology, codified best practices, and access to tools and benchmarks.
- Adapt the Net Promoter System to the beneficiary feedback context, including by experimenting with the survey and its framework and building benchmarks in key issue areas.
- Engage more funders in supporting, using, and valuing beneficiary feedback.
- Capture and share lessons learned with grantees, co-funders, and the field to positively catalyze the feedback movement and inform the work going forward.
What does a high-quality feedback loop look like?
We believe that for feedback systems to thrive, they need to:
- Be simple yet flexible
- Support repeated data collection
- Provide actionable insights that inform decision making
- Leverage benchmarks so that feedback can be put into context
- Include a closing-the-loop process where feedback is shared back with constituents
What do nonprofits do as part of Listen for Good?
L4G nonprofits implement a semi-standard survey instrument that includes five core questions:
- How likely is it that you would recommend […] to a friend or family member?
- What is […] good at?
- What could […] do better?
- Overall, how well has […] met your needs?
- How often do staff at […] treat you with respect?
Grantees see their results benchmarked relative to peer organizations on these five questions. Organizations can select up to four optional experience questions, three demographic questions, and add up to five questions of their own. Grantees can choose to implement the survey using mobile phones, tablets, or paper. L4G can support survey-taking in multiple languages.
How are we doing?
- We have pioneered the use of a simple five-question tool based on the Net Promoter System that has proven effective in capturing important information about respondents’ experiences.
- We have increased the capacity of more than 150 nonprofits to systematically collect and act on feedback from the people they seek to help. Evaluations show that participation in L4G is helping nonprofits gain new insights, make changes to programs and operations, build capacity for implementing feedback practices, and foster cultures of responsiveness and attentiveness to constituent needs.
- We have developed a reservoir of client data enabling client feedback benchmarks across a growing number of distinct issue areas, including health, education, basic and emergency aid, and community and economic development.
- We have engaged more than 60 funders in supporting, using, and valuing constituent feedback.
What does Listen for Good look like at nonprofits around the country?
Want to learn more?
Articles and Resources
- Listen for Good Overview May 2018
- 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
with your feedback and questions.