Research

The following research is intended to expand and deepen the field of knowledge development, particularly as it occurs within philanthropy and change efforts.

Shifting from ‘Evaluation’ to Valuing: A Six-Year Example of Philanthropic Practice Change and Knowledge Development (2014)

Philanthropy has reached an exciting moment where conversations about evaluation are giving way to broader notions of learning itself as a strategic philanthropic investment. Evaluation is recognized as important, and yet not the only learning needed – particularly within complex social- and policy-change efforts.  This article explores five knowledge-development trajectories at one family foundation and includes tools for informing both operations and program strategy.

Read Full Document

Learning and Equity in Foundation Practice: A discussion starter about engagement and university learning partnerships (2015)

Foundation have long invested in place-based initiatives and related capacity building, evaluation, and learning processes. Foundation investment into a “knowledge” space has often been presented as neutral, objective, and solely benevolent support. In the past few decades, information production has increased along with the plethora of learning techniques that foundations can use in change initiatives. This brief starts with the assertion that investment into knowledge development must be questioned in relation to issues of power and access to knowledge production itself.

Read Full Document

Network Learning, Nonprofits and Social Diversities (2011)

This poster presentation offers musings on network learning that can serve as a discussion starter about networks, systems, and diversity and the relationships of these to network learning and methods.  The document includes questions that raise up issues of structure and inequity.

Read Full Document

Constructing Collaborative Success for Network Learning: The Story of the Discovery Community Self-Assessment Tool (2010)

Despite conversations about the importance of community collaboration, foundations continue to struggle with how to best frame and support collaborative success. This article shares a story of the development and initial use of the Discovery Community Self-Assessment Tool as a process of social construction critical to collective action and a possible indicator of network learning.

Read Full Document