The Philea Virtual Library

The Philea Virtual Library includes over 1,000 free-to-download publications from a range of organisations and publishers on the topics of philanthropy, the management of foundations and the areas they are involved in and support. As a Philea member you can send us your publications for inclusion in the library which will also be added to the global IssueLab network where they will be made available to an extended audience, including users of Worldcat, the global catalogue used by tens of thousands of libraries. For questions or assistance, please contact the Philea Virtual Library.
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Shifting the Field: Philanthropy’s role in strengthening child- and youth-led community rooted groups

April 1, 2021

In 2019, Elevate Children Funders Group commissioned the exploratory study, 'Philanthropy's role in strengthening child- and youth-led community rooted groups.' The objective of this study was to map current practices in philanthropic support for child and youth led work at the community level and provide strategic advice to donors on how to strengthen their funding modalities through participatory approaches to achieve greater and more effective impact. The findings and recommendations from this process—conducted through literature review, key informant interviews, focus groups, and online surveys with funders, child- and youth-led community rooted groups, and non-funders—articulated in this report will pave the road for members of ECFG to challenge their own practices; build on the broader philanthropic momentum to shift money down to the grassroots level; explore ways to influence the broader philanthropic sector; and influence and shift the wider donor community thinking and approaches.

Children and Youth; Community Philanthropy; Evaluation and Learning; Grantmaking and Programme Management

Learning Through Play: Increasing impact, Reducing inequality

January 1, 2021

What is the potential of children's play to promote equality in outcomes and address learning gaps between children from more advantaged and less advantaged backgrounds? Drawing evidence from early childhood learning programmes across 18 countries, as well as from interviews with the authors of various contributing studies, this report aims to understand whether and how the evidence about play and learning relates to tackling the learning crisis, especially in terms of inequality in learning outcomes around the globe.This report published by the LEGO Foundation shows that play not only helps children learn, it also supports inclusion, and reduces inequality, therefore demonstrating that policymakers and international organisations need to pay close attention to play. Building on their findings, the authors suggest four areas for future investment, innovation and investigation.

Education; Evaluation and Learning; Socio-economic Development, Poverty

Participatory Philanthropy : Six Foundations' Journeys

October 1, 2020

In September 2020, Heather Hamilton, Executive Director of Elevate Children Funders Group, interviewed six members of the network about their journey towards participatory philanthropy, particularly engaging children and youth. This is what they said. 

Children and Youth; Community Philanthropy; Evaluation and Learning; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

Funding Organisational Development: a smart investment to multiply impact : Views from five Foundations

September 10, 2020

Oak Foundation together with Laudes Foundation, MAVA Foundation, Mercator Foundation and PeaceNexus Foundation reflected on, articulated and shared their learning about supporting Organisational Development (OD). In this paper they share their key insights on how to engage in OD, describe a standard OD process and address dilemmas. It promotes OD as a key dimension in the daily work of any grant making foundation.

Administration and Management; Evaluation and Learning

Impacting Responsibly

May 24, 2019

Designed to help the social sector measure its impact in a responsible manner, the report, Impacting Responsibly, gathers insights from thought leaders in the fields of philanthropy, measurement, and evaluation in nine areas — impact capacity building, impact frameworks and standards, constituent feedback, current reporting burden, resource inequities, impact data ownership, roles and responsibilities, collaboration, and limits of quantitative evidence. The contributions also address questions such as: How can organizations of all sizes and budgets use impact data? How can they better engage those they serve through impact data? How should they handle privacy and data protection? And how can they collaborate to maximize what they can learn from impact data?

Evaluation and Learning; Grantmaking and Programme Management; Knowledge and Data Management

Learning in Philanthropy: A Guidebook

May 12, 2019

When grantmakers focus on learning for improvement, we use evaluation and learning to generate information and insights that will help us better understand both how we're doing in our work and how to improve. A focus on taking action based on what we learn ensures that we are engaged in strategic or applied learning. Our learning should be tied directly to the strategies we are pursuing and the decisions we are making.Learning in Philanthropy: A Guidebook provides a solid basis for thinking and talking about the next steps in our organization's learning work. The guidebook is designed to serve as a resource to help grantmakers answer critical learning questions and embed learning more deeply into the day-to-day work and cultures of our organizations.

Evaluation and Learning; Governance, Boards and Strategy

Comment Mesurer l'Impact d'un Projet Alimentaire? Evaluer les Contributions d'un Projet à la Durabilité du Système Alimentaire

April 1, 2019

This guide is a user's manual to an innovative impact evaluation methodology, developed within the framework of the Syalinnov (Innovative Food Systems) project of the Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation.Offering a 7-step approach and quickly appropriated tools, this publication aims to enable organizations involved in the field of food to measure their impact on the sustainability of the food system in order to develop their project and their impact.

Environment and Sustainable Development; Evaluation and Learning; Food and Agriculture

Exploring the New World: Practical Insights for Funding, Commissioning and Managing in Complexity

March 1, 2019

Building on their previous report, A Whole New World: Funding and Commissioning in Complexity, this new work responds to significant interest in learning from practical examples of how organisations, funders and commissioners are fundamentally rethinking their design and delivery of support. It sets out a 'new world' of approaches to social change that genuinely put people in the lead, providing practical examples and insights for others eager to develop new ways of working.Informed by a year of action research and events, the report seeks to:SHARE emerging new practice, including through in-depth case studiesINSPIRE and enable people interested in working in this way to develop new approachesBUILD a movement for change

Evaluation and Learning; Grantmaking and Programme Management

MEL Practice at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation: Evaluation in Support of Moving from Good to Great

January 31, 2019

In early 2017, ORS Impact evaluated and re-examined the David and Lucile Packard Foundation monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) principles and practice. The purpose of this evaluation was to discover what works well, identify areas for improvement, and stimulate reflection and experimentation. While this report uncovered many examples of strong MEL practice across the Foundation it also highlighted opportunities for improvement. Research findings fed into Foundation decisions to update both internal and external MEL processes and requirements, including refinement of the Foundation's Guiding Principles for MEL.A key audience of this report include readers wrestling with how to best support MEL in philanthropic settings so that it can support greater learning and impact, such as MEL staff working inside foundations and external evaluators working with foundations.

Evaluation and Learning

Familiarization Report : Final Report

January 1, 2019

This report is the first in a series of major outputs expected as part of the BUILD evaluation process. It is intended to inform the BUILD team, the Office of Strategy and Learning team and other core BUILD stakeholders at the Ford Foundation. However, recognizing that the Ford Foundation may wish to share the report with a wider audience, the report is intended to be accessible to other external stakeholders who may not be familiar with BUILD. The report highlights key trends discerned so far, including some high-level insights that are already emerging about the "BUILD effect".

Evaluation and Learning; Minorities, Social Inclusion, Multiculturalism

Achieving Greater Impact by Starting with Learning

September 12, 2018

When grantmakers ask the organizations they fund about their evaluation plans, they are typically motivated by a desire to achieve the greatest impact possible through their investment. They often hope to help the organizations they fund to do the same. However, these conversations sometimes veer off track, especially when nonprofits feel pressure to produce evaluation results that align with funders' preconceived ideas. Evaluation can turn into a tool for accountability and risk management rather than a tool for learning. One way to prevent this dynamic from developing is to make sure that grantmakers and grant recipients talk with one another about why they are interested in evaluating a particular project before they get into discussions of what should be measured and how data collection tools should be used.This guide explores strategies that grantmakers can use to lay the groundwork for meaningful evaluation by focusing on learning rather than measurement early in the grant application process. We begin by defining what a learning culture or learning organization means and why it is important. Then, we discuss some of the key elements of learning organizations. Lastly, we outline some principles for grantmakers to help guide the development of a learning relationship with future grant recipients.

Evaluation and Learning

Nicaragua

April 1, 2018

This online story, published by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, is part of the 'Historical Cases' series. It intends to collect lessons from the past experience of the foundation in Nicaragua from 1981 to 2008.Learning questions raised by this story include:How can we best take advantage of historical moments in a country to accelerate progress towards scale? How does this factor into our own decision making?How to diversify our partnerships and our approaches (for example, advocacy versus field projects) to ensure continuity throughout inevitable political changes in government?When making plans for scale, is it always desirable to aim for universalisation? Or is it better – from a quality standpoint – to advocate for a more targeted approach to specific populations of children and families?

Children and Youth; Education; Evaluation and Learning; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

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