A New Way for Organizations to Participate: Listen4Good Online+
Since 2016, more than 450 direct-service nonprofits have participated in our signature feedback initiative Listen4Good, driving change based on the expressed needs and preferences of well over 130,000 clients across the country. (Read stories about the L4G experiences of some of those organizations, funders, and clients.)
Now, we introduce a new way for hundreds more organizations to participate: Listen4Good Online+, an updated and streamlined Listen4Good program for organizations that want online support and expert guidance to move through the process of implementing high-quality, client-focused feedback loops. Participating organizations will receive:
Unlimited access to our L4G interactive web app, which includes step-by-step guides to implementing feedback loops
Free access to a premium SurveyMonkey account
One-on-one coaching (~3 hours), encouraged during specified steps in the process:
- Getting started and survey design
- Reflecting on feedback results
- Planning for your next feedback cycle
Access to virtual office hours
Unlimited access to informational webinars and our peer-exchange platform, L4G Community
How organizations can participate in Listen4Good Online+
As we continue to scale Listen4Good for a broader audience, we plan to make L4G Online+ available to any interested nonprofit. The cost to participate (which will vary according to the level of supports chosen) will be covered by the participating organization or a sponsoring funder.
For 2020, we are introducing L4G Online+ with a special offer to funders that signed the Council on Foundations’ COVID-19 philanthropy pledge. We invite funders to nominate their grantees and sponsor them at a cost of $1,000 per organization. Fund for Shared Insight will cover the cost of the rest of the program for each participant, though we also encourage funders to make capacity-building grants directly to grantees, as needed.
To participate in L4G Online+, organizations must meet the following eligibility requirements and submit an application by August 19.
- Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) or a government agency based in in the United States (including all territories, states, and the District of Columbia) with their work focused domestically.
- Applicants must be client-facing, direct service organizations:
- The L4G question set is intended to capture feedback from individual community members or individuals who participate in programs as part of their daily lives. It is not targeted for gathering feedback from implementation partners, paid staff, or intermediary providers. (see FAQ for additional clarity on this)
- For programs that rely on intermediaries to implement their work, the L4G question set works best when clients can identify the organization or programmatic offering by name, in addition to knowing the intermediary organization
- Applicants must serve at least 100 clients annually and have intentions to survey a minimum of 50 respondents for each feedback loop of Listen4Good.
- Applicants must be able to finalize a survey draft by December 31, 2020.
- Applicants must seek feedback from clients whose voices are least heard. For example, these might be families visiting food pantries, youth attending after school academic and enrichment programs, residents living in public housing, recent immigrants using legal-aid services, or individuals participating in job-training programs. (Please see FAQ document for more detail on what this does — and doesn’t — mean.) During this time, we will prioritize organizations that serve people and communities most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, particularly communities of color.
- Applicants must have a minimum annual budget of $300,000 in their current fiscal year.
- Applicants will preferably be nominated by one of their current or new funders that supports their participation and has signed the Council on Foundations’ COVID-19 philanthropy pledge.
- Nominating funders must pay $1,000 on behalf of organizations to participate.
L4G Online+ Timeline
August 19, 2020 Applications due
August 26, 2020 Accepted Applications announced
September 30, 2020 $1,000 Subsidized fee due (from applicant or sponsoring funder)
The application period for L4G Online+ is now closed.
1. How does L4G define “clients” or the people we seek to help?
For the purpose of mutual understanding in the work of Fund for Shared Insight, we primarily use the phrase “the people we seek to help” – recognizing that we don’t always reach the people we want to help. Clients from whom feedback will be collected must be the ultimate intended individuals receiving services and represent individuals whose voices are least heard. For example, these might be families visiting food pantries, youth attending afterschool academic and enrichment programs, residents of public housing, recent immigrants using legal-aid services, or people participating in job-training programs. Clients as defined here are not teachers, nurses, social entrepreneurs, or others whom we would consider “intermediaries” to the people we ultimately seek to help.
2. Can I use L4G to survey other stakeholders?
We understand that volunteers, implementation partners, and staff are critical constituencies for operating organizations. While these populations do not meet the basic criteria of Listen4Good and cannot be the core constituency you survey, we have developed some supplementary tools for surveying these stakeholders that you are welcome to use after you have built a feedback loop with clients.
3. How does L4G define “voices least heard”?
Since our founding, Fund for Shared Insight and Listen4Good have focused on listening to the voices least heard in order to improve nonprofit and philanthropic practice and, ultimately, improve lives and communities. The phrase “voices least heard” has dual meaning for us.
- First, it refers to people nonprofits and foundations seek to help, such as families accessing food pantries or free clinics, youth attending afterschool programs, This definition typically excludes intermediaries, such as teachers, volunteers, social entrepreneurs, or others who might help manage, shape, run, or deliver nonprofit programs and services.
- Second, “voices least heard” refers to people who are the least heard in our broader society due to historic inequality and enduring structural barriers. While nonprofits and foundations should listen to all participants and intended beneficiaries, Shared Insight prioritizes historically marginalized groups. This definition includes people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, people living in poverty, and, depending on the context, others, such as people in rural communities, where structural conditions have isolated or excluded their voice. We understand that these definitions are complex and evolving, and that our thinking will continue to evolve in service to our overarching goal of better listening as a vehicle to positive and just social change.
4. Who pays for Listen4Good Online+?
Fund fort Shared Insight is subsidizing the cost of the program for all 2020 participants. Participating organizations or their sponsoring funders will pay only $1,000 each. All payers will be invoiced by Fund for Shared Insight for their participation.