What We’re Thinking

Assessing Nonprofit Capacity: Tools That Can Help

One of the Packard Foundation’s longtime funder collaborators is The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (Hewlett). Hewlett’s Effective Philanthropy Group seeks to strengthen the capacity of the foundation’s staff, its grantees, and philanthropy in general to achieve their goals and benefit the common good. It recently released an analysis of various tools used for assessing…

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Kindness, Listening, and Curiosity: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

When I was growing up, every weekday afternoon a half-hour before my family’s dinnertime, Fred Rogers opened his door and sang “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” to his TV audience. And pretty much every afternoon, my siblings and I would plop ourselves into easy chairs and fall into the satisfying and soothing routines…

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How I Learned to Love the Re-Org

All the best projects start with pen to paper. In 2016, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, a Packard Foundation Local Grantmaking Program grantee, received an Organizational Effectiveness (OE) grant to support a reorganization of their staffing structure. Nina Simon, the museum’s executive director and author of her own highly engaging Museum 2.0…

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Finding Skilled Volunteers for Your Nonprofit

The Organizational Effectiveness (OE) team is often asked where nonprofits can find resources for capacity building projects. Grant funding in this area can be hard to find, and unfortunately, we are not able to provide support for all of the worthy projects that come our way, even for Packard Foundation grantees. In some circumstances, it…

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How do we evaluate our work? 

Capacity building is notoriously tricky to evaluate. Here in the Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness (OE) team we evaluate our work several ways, and we are always trying to improve so we can increase our impact.  This post provides a brief overview of our monitoring, evaluation, and learning approach over the last three years. We wanted…

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