What We’re Thinking

A Push and a Pathway: Race and Leadership in California

For many years, the nonprofit sector’s strategy for diversifying the leadership of our organizations has been guided – or more accurately mis-guided – by assumptions about people of color. When our team at the Building Movement Project started digging into why for a decade or more, people of color are less than 20% of nonprofit…

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Learning about Learning Questions

In this post, the Evaluation & Learning team at the Packard Foundation wanted to share some basics about learning questions: What are they? How should they be crafted? How can you make sure they are useful? At the Foundation, grant makers write learning questions about their grantmaking strategies. These questions are a critical opportunity for…

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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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