CEP’s 2016 report, The Future of Foundation Philanthropy, finds that foundation leaders believe learning from the experiences of those they are ultimately trying to help holds a great deal of promise for increasing foundation impact in the coming decades. But CEP research also shows that both funders and grantees alike don’t always see this learning happening.

So, how are foundations that are rated highly by their grantees on their understanding of beneficiary needs doing this work?

Staying Connected: How Five Foundations Understand Those They Seek to Help profiles five foundations ranked among the top 15 percent of foundations that commissioned a Grantee Perception Report (GPR) between 2016 and 2017 when it comes to how their grantees rated them on questions related to their understanding of intended beneficiaries’ needs. The work of these five foundations seeks to help beneficiaries in a range of focus areas — from students to children and adults in need of affordable health care.

The foundations profiled are: Nord Family Foundation in Amherst, OH; Helios Education Foundation in Phoenix, AZ; the Duke Endowment in Charlotte, NC; the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation in Owing Mills, MD; and SC Ministry Foundation in Cincinnati, OH.

The Fund for Shared Insight provided funding for this report.

December 2017