What happens when funders invest in nonprofit staff, and can it go beyond the individual to improve organizational performance and programmatic outcomes? Foundations that have taken the plunge into talent-investing – and measured the results along the way – can offer some insights. In this post, I share my findings from studying 16 of these evaluations from funders including the Bill and Melinda Gates, Annie E. Casey, Robert Wood Johnson, and Blue Shield of California foundations.
Over the last several months, as a graduate fellow with Fund the People, I have gathered and analyzed evaluations of talent-investments by foundations to look for common outcomes. The results of this research establish baseline data based on some of the existing information in the field. In addition to reviewing reports, I conducted interviews with foundation staff, evaluators, and industry leaders to better understand the results of these evaluations. Throughout this exploration, I observed the meaningful impact that talent-investing can have on strengthening individual leaders, nonprofit organizations, and fields of work and social movements across different methodologies, interventions, and locations. These findings ought to be shared widely, discussed, and tested further to improve philanthropic practices. Read more>>