Broadening the definition of evidence can lead to more confident and informed philanthropic decisions.
The Value of Strategic Planning & Evaluation
Over the past few decades, there has been much writing about the value of strategic planning and evaluation in philanthropy, and a seeming increase in the extent to which foundations engage in these practices. This movement has been qualified by cautions about the hazards of reducing all philanthropic goals to quantifiable metrics. It also has provoked a small but vehement backlash by commentators who contest the very idea of philanthropic strategies and measurable outcomes.
In this ongoing series of essays, practitioners, consultants, and academics explore the value of strategy and evaluation, as well as the limits and downsides of these practices. Our goal is to stimulate a dialog among those who would like to advance thinking and practice in the field.
This series is curated by Paul Brest, emeritus professor at Stanford Law School, Stanford PACS faculty co-director, and former president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.