NEW GUIDE – Knowledge Sharing to Strengthen Grantmaking

I’m thrilled to share with you our new guide, Open For Good: Knowledge Sharing to Strengthen Grantmaking, which makes the case for foundations to openly share knowledge as an integral and strategic intention of philanthropy. Written by Clare Nolan of Engage R+D and co-edited by my colleague Janet Camarena, director of transparency initiatives, and me, it emphasizes that sharing knowledge can deepen internal reflection and learning, lead to new connections and ideas, and promote institutional credibility and influence.

Sound nice, but already heard this before?

Then why isn’t your foundation better at sharing learning and using it to truly strengthen practice?

There are probably a million reasons— we’ve heard many of them: time, anonymity, vulnerability, relevancy...I could go on. We wrote this guide as a part of our ongoing #OpenForGood campaign to help move you past philosophical alignment with sharing towards purposeful action.

Each year, foundations make $5 billion in grants toward knowledge production. These assessments, evaluations, communities of practice, and key findings are valuable, but only a small fraction of foundations share what they learn, with even fewer using open licenses or open repositories to share these learnings. And while (maybe not surprisingly) foundations value lessons about “what did and didn’t work,” this is the knowledge that foundations themselves are often most reluctant to share. #OpenForGood is our campaign to change that, and this guide can be a tool for advocacy within your foundation to make sharing happen. As with other GrantCraft guides, it is full of interviews with field leaders, so the perspectives, approaches, and suggested actions are all grounded in practical, lived experience.

I welcome your thoughts and tweets about this new guide, and encourage you to share your perspective on this or any of our other publications through a guest blog on GrantCraft. Email anytime.

P.S. We've got a book club of sorts in the works...learn more here!


This letter originally appeared in this week's GrantCraft newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter and special alerts, register for free.

About the author(s)

Director of Stakeholder Engagement