Grantee Perception and Self Reflection


Kristy Klein Davis, Director of Learning and Effectiveness

As a Foundation we’re not static. We’re always evaluating our effectiveness, our impact, our strengths, and our weaknesses. This requires us to reflect on how we work and what we are aiming to achieve, and it forces us to ask difficult but essential questions – Are we effectively carrying out our mission, and are we living by our core values?

As part of our learning and evaluation principles, every three years we commission an outside group, The Center for Effective Philanthropy, to conduct a survey of our grantees throughout the region. They are asked about their perceptions of how we’re doing in regards to our processes, interactions, and work in the field. By regularly tracking this feedback we’re able to see how our efforts are being received in our region over time. Our grantees are experts in their work and are in a unique position to provide information that will help us learn, adapt, and increase our shared impact.

Having only recently received our newest report, we’re still digesting the results and program-specific findings. Even so, we wanted to share some of what we heard from the organizations we work with, both what is going well and where we have room to grow.

First, we want to extend our thanks and gratitude to all of our grantees and partners across the state who are leading the work to address some of our most pressing health issues. We are continually inspired by the work you do.

Positive highlights:

  • Grantees’ perceptions of the Foundation’s impact on their fields continue to be strong. Additionally, their opinion of the Foundation’s understanding of their work has improved since the last time we commissioned the report in 2014.
  • We were excited to see a new answer emerge in response to a question asking grantees to provide one word which best describes the Foundation. “Collaborative” was the third most used word to describe us. This is something we have been working on, and we were happy to see it reflected in the results.

Room for improvement:

  • Our grantees want us to be more engaged and hands on in the work. Compared to 2014, we are interacting with grantees and conducting site visits more often. However, there is still room to grow. We are concentrating on ways to get staff out into the community as much as possible.
  • We need to better connect with rural communities. We are striving to increase our presence in and understanding of rural communities, including the experiences of grantees and partners who live and work there.

We’d like to thank the participants for their valuable insights and feedback. While this survey is conducted every three years, we encourage our grantees to reach out to us at any time. You can e-mail me at, or reach out directly to your program officer.

Feedback from you, our grantees and partners, is critical for our continued improvement, and we rely on your expertise and perspective to ensure we’re being true to our mission and ideals. We look forward to continuing to collaborate across the state to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities most in need.