No time for business as usual: Learning from rapid response grantmaking in uncertain times

Session Number: 2483
Track: Nonprofit and Foundations
Session Type: Roundtable
Tags: adaptive evaluation, Developmental Evaluation, movements, policy, systems, environmental change, rapid feedback, rapid response, Reflective Practice
Session Facilitator: Sonia Taddy Sandino [Co-Founder - Engage R+D]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Kim Ammann Howard, The James Irvine Foundation [Director of Impact Assessment and Learning]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Lori Nascimento [Learning and Evaluation Manager - The California Endowment]
Time: Nov 01, 2018 (05:00 PM - 05:45 PM)
Room: Hilton - Hope Ballroom B

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Now more than ever, philanthropy, social sector innovators, and evaluators are challenged to act differently and respond boldly as they seek to tackle complex social problems and navigate an unpredictable and politically-charged environment. Since the 2016 national elections many funders have launched rapid response grants to fund advocacy efforts, communications campaigns, community organizations, and funding to defend immigrant rights. In this extraordinary era of sweeping social movements and rapid response grantmaking, what is the role of learning and evaluation?  What role can evaluators (both internal and external) play to support bold efforts to defend vulnerable populations and support power building and movement infrastructure?  How and to what effect can grantees and beneficiaries be engaged in learning and reflection?  This session will explore the experience of two California-based funders and seeks to promote dialogue about what it means to speak truth to power.