Influence is key to our work at the Ford Foundation and to philanthropy as a whole.
Many of us in this space combine forces to shift how government, business, and nonprofits tackle urgent problems such as climate change, poverty, or threats to democracy. We also want to influence how the sector as a whole leverages philanthropy—whether this means a shift to giving larger grants, creating more flexible grants, or designing grants through a lens of diversity—in pursuit of a more equitable world.
As important as this work is, we don't have a solid understanding of why certain efforts are effective in creating the influence they intend and what causes others to fail.
To improve our understanding, we commissioned Milway Consulting to look at 12 independent initiatives aimed to influence how grantmakers and others engage in philanthropy and identify what advanced and prevented the adoption of good practice.