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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Evaluation and Learning at Foundations: A Field Guide

April 18, 2022

This brief grew out of conversations with evaluation and learning leaders working in foundations across the United States about both the value of evaluation and learning in philanthropy, and the challenges of implementing this function well across diverse institutional contexts. Our intent is to provide practical guidance that new and existing leaders can use to navigate their roles in support of more effective and equitable philanthropy. It is based on indepth case studies of the Irvine, Kauffman, and Kresge Foundations along with our own experience partnering with foundations on evaluation, strategy, and learning efforts.

Evaluation and Learning

Engaging Boards and Trustees in Strategic Learning: A Toolkit

January 17, 2019

Effecting social change in a rapidly changing political environment and an increasingly interconnected world requires foundations to adopt a learning orientation. Without continuous learning, grantmakers—and thus boards and trustees—are unaware about what is working where, with whom, and why, as well as what changes or refinements are needed in order to achieve the grantmakers' desired results.This toolkit provides a fresh set of resources for grantmaker CEOs, evaluation staff, and senior leaders to use to engage their boards and trustees in conversations about the importance of strategic learning in their decision-making and deliberation processes.

Governance, Boards and Strategy

Advice to Strengthen Strategic Mergers and Collaborations: A Catalyst Fund Report

April 1, 2016

The Catalyst Fund for Nonprofits was created to demonstrate how strategic mergers and collaborations can help nonprofits pursue their missions. The Fund's new report, Advice to Strengthen Strategic Mergers and Collaborations, captures knowledge and experience gained from five years of work with more than 80 Boston-area nonprofits. The free, online resource includes "four truths of nonprofit collaborations" as well as step-by-step guidance for nonprofits, and reflections from funders on support for this work. The Catalyst Fund's primary goals were to give nonprofits dedicated resources for exploring strategic partnerships and to challenge misconceptions about mergers as a sign of fiscal distress. The Fund was itself a collaboration of The Boston Foundation, LISC Boston, The Hyams Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, managed by Nonprofit Finance Fund. Catalyst Fund grant awards resulted in 20 collaborative ventures, including 13 mergers. An additional six ventures are still in exploratory phases. 

Collaborative Philanthropy and Partnerships; Grantmaking and Programme Management; Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector, Civil Society

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