As funders, there are many ways we can listen to the people at the heart of our work and support our grantees and partners to listen well. Below are resources and communities of like-minded funders that can help you take the next steps on your listening journey. We encourage you to:

Check out the Funder Listening Action Menu

The Funder Listening Action Menu is a resource to help foundations think systematically about how to promote listening, feedback, and participation across the many dimensions of their work. It outlines seven ways funders can take action to listen, with resources and examples from fellow funders. Which action on the menu seems like the right fit for your work?

Share how you’re listening with the Feedback Incentives Learning Group

The Feedback Incentives Learning Group is a group of foundations dedicated to exploring ways to support and motivate funders and nonprofits to listen to and act on feedback from those at the heart of their work. The group hosts monthly learning talks and helps members design internal listening initiatives. If you would like to share your listening experiences with the group or if you think you might benefit from joining the group, email Megan at [email protected].

Host a webinar or training for staff and partners

If you’re looking to further deepen your organization’s commitment to listening and high-quality feedback loops, Feedback Labs provides personalized trainings for foundation staff or portfolios of grantees. These trainings range from one-hour “Introduction to Feedback” webinars to a four-week “Feedback Crash Course” to customized advanced feedback webinars on topics like “Feedback as a tool for equity,” “Best practices for feedback survey creation,” and “Feedback Tools.” Email Britt at [email protected] if you’d like to chat about what trainings would best support your listening goals.

Encourage grantees to share how they listen on their Candid profile

Nonprofits should be celebrated and supported on every step of their listening journey, and funders play an essential role in providing that support. The How We Listen section of the Candid nonprofit profile is an easy way for them to share that journey with all their partners and funders and nonprofits that fill out the section also receive full marks in the Culture & Community beacon of Charity Navigator’s Encompass Ratings system. You can encourage your grantees to boost their visibility by sharing how they’re listening to the people at the heart of their work.

Support your grantees to develop their listening capacity with Listen4Good

Listen4Good offers expert tools, coaching, and resources to nonprofits seeking to build client-focused, equity-based feedback loops to help them listen and respond to the people at the heart of their work. As a funder, you can support your grantees’ efforts to listen well by sponsoring them to participate in Listen4Good. Check out this guide or email Valerie Threlfall at  [email protected] to learn more about the program.

Share the case for listening with a colleague

  • In this article for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fay Twersky makes the case for how listening to the voices and opinions of the people at the heart of our work helps make our programs more effective. In this follow-up article, Fay describes how feedback can complement traditional monitoring and evaluation.
  • Melinda Tuan reflects on the progress funders have made in listening and the growing body of evidence showing how feedback predicts programmatic outcomes.
  • Members of the Feedback Incentives Learning Group have partnered with the Center for Effective Philanthropy on two blog series that explore how funders can use their power to support grantees to listen and provide practical tips for how grantmaking staff can make space for listening in their busy roles. You can access the full blog series here and here.

Get in touch!

If you have any questions about these resources or want advice on how to get support that’s tailored to your listening goals, email Britt Lake, CEO of Feedback Labs, at [email protected] and Jonathan Brack, Program Manager for Fund for Shared Insight, at [email protected].