From the Professional Team

A letter to grantees on the Foundation’s Grantee Perception Report

– by Chip Edelsberg

December 19th, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Jim Joseph Foundation grantees regarding the Foundation’s 2014 Grantee Perception Report

In 2014, the Jim Joseph Foundation commissioned the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) to produce a second Grantee Perception Report (GPR) for the Foundation. (The first study was conducted in 2010.) The resulting report offers detailed feedback about the Foundation’s work and interactions with—and impact on—grantees and the field.

Thank you for responding to CEP’s survey earlier this year. Obviously, there would be no report without your involvement. We rely on information like this to provide accurate, useful information about our performance. The GPR offers insights about processes we may change to better serve grantees. It helps us contemplate new strategies to consider as we pursue the Foundation’s strategic priorities. In general, the GPR enables us to help hold the Foundation accountable by providing perception-based evaluation of our work.

It is important for Board and staff to address GPR findings. To that end, CEP President Phil Buchanan and Director of Assessment Tools Austin Long reviewed this recent GPR with the full Jim Joseph Foundation Board and staff at the Foundation’s December 1st meeting. We have now begun internal conversations both about improving certain areas of our work and building on successes in other areas.

We currently are examining, for example, ways to strengthen our relationships with grantees in both formal and informal interactions. This includes clarifying for grantees the Foundation’s strategic funding priorities. We want to continuously try to ensure that we are approachable working with grantees to overcome challenges during any given grant period. We also will continue to try to clarify processes and expectations of outcomes and timelines of grant reports. Additionally, we are examining our current process for potential grantees as they embark on the grant application process.

As you know, the Foundation avidly believes in independent evaluation to measure outcomes of grants awarded. When an evaluation is completed, it is a moment in time to both reflect back on efforts and to look forward to achievements still desired. The Foundation approaches the GPR with this mindset as well. We will keep you informed of any pertinent changes implemented in the areas noted above.

Again, thank you very much for taking the time to participate in the Foundation’s 2014 GPR.

We wish you health and happiness in the New Year,

Al Levitt & Chip Edelsberg