The creative tension of experimentation and rigor. New programs planned with discipline and new methods for established programs. Cost conscious test-driven project development. Managing evolution and revolution.

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

Metrics based on logic models. Nonprofit "business intelligence" driven by your programs, not technology. Acquiring, displaying, communicating, and applying the right numbers. A commitment to evidence.

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.” — Bertrand Russell

An accurate and deep intuitive understanding. Disciplined thinking and shared understanding. Theories of Change and Logic Models. Rigorous, testable project plans. Toward the learning organization.

“He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Whole systems thinking. Leveraging networks, both inside and outside the organization. Respecting barriers and managing change. Testing models. Decisions based on evidence. The right information to the right people at the right time. Think big, start small.

"It's easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date." — Roger von Oech

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New Article – Data Driven Grantmaking Research: What Are We Missing?

We are currently conducting an ambitious study of the visible signs of data driven decision making practices of the largest U.S foundations. As part of that project we’ve done a scan of the current research and writing on the subject. There’s not as much as you would think! Plus, because none of it is published in peer-reviewed journals, it’s harder to be sure you’ve found everything.

Thus, as a service to fellow researchers and practitioners and as a way of soliciting the support of our colleagues in identifying what we may have missed, we’re publishing a partially annotated bibliography: Data Driven Grantmaking: The State of Current Research. Andie Whitley and I have prepared eight summaries of some of the key research in the field, along with a full bibliography of the thirty-six papers we’ve identified. (We’ve also made these available for download and your use in both RTF and BibTeX formats.) We hope you find this to be of some use. Also, if you know of any research we’re missing, could you please let us know?

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