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We talked with funders working in the US, Europe, and internationally about when, why, and how it's useful to scan the landscape for new ideas and new directions. This updated edition of a 2004 GrantCraft guide reflects key changes in philanthropy, from the rise of social media to a growing tendency to scan continuously for changes and opportunities.
What to ask, and how to ask itUsing data visualization for your learningOnline tools for scanningWhat's in the Guide?
What is Scanning? To understand how your efforts fit within a wider field of activity, it's often useful to look at the field as a whole to see where the opportunities, needs, and gaps are. That's what we mean by "scanning." A scan can help you adjust to a new position, learn a new field, take a fresh look at grants you've already made, keep current with larger trends, or chart a course for the future.Different Scans for Different Needs: Funders use scans for many reasons. Scans don't have to be long and complicated -- but a thorough scan can be well worth the time and effort. This section explores various reasons for scanning and describes a range of approaches to meet particular needs.What to ask, and how to ask it: Once you've framed the purpose of your scan, what kind of questions should you ask? And what's the best way to ask them? This section offers advice on eliciting the information you're looking for, pulling people together to share ideas, being a good listener, and leaving room for unexpected learning.Managing expectations: Once a funder starts asking questions, holding meetings, and seeking out advice on a given topic, people in the field are likely to notice and become curious. Here are some tips on how to give a clear impression of what you're doing and how to manage the understandable hopes of people who would like to receive support.Getting diverse viewpoints: A scan can be particularly useful when it concentrates on aspects of the field you don't know about, people you haven't heard from, and issues you hadn't considered before. This section offers some tested methods for soliciting unfamiliar ideas, meeting new people, and encouraging candid views and input.Scanning continuously: These days, many funders treat scanning as a more or less continuous activity -- a frame of mind or set of routines that helps them stay aware of the larger context, open to new ideas, and connected with broader networks.Sharing the results of your scan: There are many ways to put the information you uncover to use, both within your foundation and in the field. Here, our contributors share ideas about how to use a scan and its results for the widest possible benefit.
Discusses in detail the legal aspects of mission-related investing, including federal and state fiduciary laws, foundations' fiduciary responsibility, and emerging practices, and makes recommendations. Includes examples of investments and case studies.
U.S foundations have considerable freedom to invest their assets in ways that further their missions, even at greater risk or lower financial return. The legal framework that governs the investment of foundation assets is both complex and ambiguous, however, with the result that many foundation leaders and investment advisors are unclear about what is legally permissible. Anne Stetson and Mark Kramer of FSG have prepared two reports, in consultation with nationally-recognized legal experts and senior foundation officers, analyzing the federal tax and state fiduciary laws as they apply to US foundations. In addition to legal analysis, the reports provide practical recommendations as to how foundations can best navigate these laws in making mission-related or program-related investments. A Brief Guide to the Law of Mission Investing for U.S. Foundations is a short 18 page booklet, suitable for foundation staff and boards, as well as their advisors, explaining in non-technical language the factors foundations must consider in making mission investments.
Annie E. Casey Foundation;
Outlines the issues low-income residents face when displaced by redevelopment projects, and suggests alternative approaches and practices to ensure better outcomes. Provides guidelines for planning, securing technical assistance, and referring services.
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation;
Provides basic information and data on the main diseases and conditions prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, U.S. government funding for global health, major policy issues, and initiatives among U.S. and international agencies and multilaterals.
Provides a guide for identifying characteristics, contributions, and needs of immigrant populations. Discusses national immigration trends, and addresses public policy questions. Includes a profile of the immigrant population in Providence, Rhode Island.
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation;
Offers guidance on the basic concepts, tools, and methods for reporting, blogging, podcasting, shooting and editing digital photos and videos, and voiceovers in a Web 2.0 environment, with examples. Explores evolving technologies' impact on journalism.
Immigrant Defense Project;
This toolkit is designed to help communities prevent deportations by keeping local police separate from immigration enforcement. The essential link between police and ICE is the ICE hold request, also known as an immigration detainer. On the basis of ICE hold requests, state and local police hold people in jail longer in order to hand them over to ICE. Without police departments willing to submit to ICE hold requests, ICE would not be able to apprehend and deport so many people. Even if Secure Communities, 287(g) and the Criminal Alien Program continue to operate, they are only as effective as ICE hold requests allow them to be. The hold request is what actually allows ICE to apprehend and deport people. Several communities have succeeded in enacting policies to stop submitting to ICE hold requests, and this toolkit is designed to help other communities establish similar policies.
This guide supports the work of advocates of pragmatic, principled, effective, and collaborative US engagement in the world. It draws on the latest communications research and the insights of experts to outline facts and arguments, and offer ways to put them across to non-expert American audiences. It is designed to help those who already know the issues well and could benefit from expert experience on how to engage a large segment of the public.
Los Angeles County Children's Planning Council;
Based on focus groups with youth and youth workers, identifies best practices and opportunities to engage youth in community-building. Includes recommendations to improve social services and prevention, support and development, and participation.
Provides an exploration of how to engage the American public on a broad range of international issues and on fundamental questions about the U.S. role in the world. Features compact summaries of core arguments and messaging recommendations.
Communications Leadership Institute;
Whether you are just starting the communications planning process, checking in on a communications campaign already in progress, or interested in reviewing an effort you have already executed, the Smart Chart 3.0TM will help you assess your strategic decisions to ensure that your communications strategy delivers high impact.Strategic communications decisions are the building blocks of any successful communications planning and implementation effort. When used correctly, this tool will create stronger outcomes and help you use resources more effectively.