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PEAK Grantmaking

What You Know Shouldn’t Be About Who You Know

Organization Members Only

Many foundations have worked to build their knowledge capacity and transform their institutions into learning organizations equipped with the skills to create, analyze, and support knowledge creation. These efforts fall short, however, when it comes to transferring that knowledge to others. Recent industry surveys show that only 14 percent of foundation evaluation and learning staff even consider it part of their role to share what they are learning from commissioned evaluations. This means that too often what you know depends on who you know.

What can we learn from organizations that have designed their systems and processes to set themselves up to be effective learning organizations? How are they setting up grant applications and agreements to set the stage for knowledge sharing? And what can we learn from evaluation consultants who are often brought in by funders to cocreate learning frameworks to assess the foundation’s strategy and inform its future direction? Moreover, what can be done to help the philanthropic field change its insular and independent orientation to become a more open and collaborative one resulting in the creation of a learning sector, one that is transparent about successes and failures and that understands that such shared knowledge will ultimately drive innovation and maximize impact more quickly?

Attend this session to learn about the Funder and Evaluator Affinity Network’s recent knowledge sharing toolkit and open letter to the field about how to develop practices and norms to create more equitable and accessible paths to knowledge.


Kim Ammann Howard
Director of Impact Assessment & Learning
James Irvine Foundation

Janet Camarena
Senior Director of Candid Learning

Clare Nolan, MPP
Engage R+D/Funder & Evaluator Affinity Network (FEAN)

Karuna Sridharan Chibber, DrPH
Evaluation and Learning Officer
David and Lucile Packard Foundation