About the Assessments

At the center of Philamplify is a series of comprehensive reports conducted by highly regarded researchers assessing foundation grantmaking and operations. Assessments include key findings and recommendations, along with in-depth analysis of foundations’ funding strategies. By keeping these assessments public, Philamplify seeks to build a culture of transparency, mutual accountability and knowledge sharing.

Philamplify.org turns the assessments into an interactive experience, giving everyone involved with or touched by philanthropy a chance to comment on each assessment’s key recommendations and each foundation’s overall grantmaking approach. Visitors also can share their stories in text, photo or video, chime in on general issues affecting philanthropy and provide direct feedback about Philamplify itself.

Overview of Methodology

NCRP recently developed an assessment tool for founda­tions using a set of criteria that addresses the strategic practices outlined in Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best: Benchmarks to Assess and Enhance Grantmaker Impact and its more recent re­port, Real Results: Why Strategic Philanthropy Is Social Justice PhilanthropyCriteria for Philanthropy at Its Best provides a comprehensive and nuanced set of benchmarks that foundations can use for effective operational and grantmaking practices. Real Results argues that to maximize impact, foundations must be both strategic and just.

“Strategic and just” means not only having clearly aligned goals and strategies and a way to measure impact, but also considering who benefits from the foundation’s grantmaking and how. It means seeking input from affected commu­nities and attempting to change systems that perpetuate inequity. A comprehensive, nuanced examination of founda­tion goals, strategies and practices shows how strategy and justice can be aligned to be more impactful in target com­munities.

NCRP conducted this research and invited each foundation to participate in shaping and implementing the review. Please refer to each foundation report to determine the extent of a foundation’s participation in the assessment.

For specific methods employed by NCRP researchers in the assessments, including key questions addressed, please refer to the “Overview of Methodology” section in each assessment report.

Learn about how NCRP piloted the Philamplify methodology on Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.