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Organizational Learning Resources 

11 days ago

Organizations that are impactful aren’t necessarily the ones that gather the most evaluation data or use the most sophisticated methodologies. They are the ones that are good at translating their evaluation findings (and other kinds of information) into insight and action. In other words, they have strong organizational cultures of learning.

Building a strong culture of learning takes skill, effort, and time. While grantmakers and other nonprofits have worked hard in recent years to build their capacity to evaluate outcomes, less emphasis has been placed on building learning capacity. While many grantmakers recognize that the measurement of outcomes requires specialized expertise and dedicated resources, they don’t always acknowledge that the same is true for the work of learning from evaluation.

Attached are a set of resources that were developed by Taylor Newberry Consulting to help grantmakers and nonprofits who are looking to develop relationships that are focused on learning. This work was supported by Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.

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pdf file
Organizational Learning Self-Assessment Tool   718K   1 version
Uploaded - 05-10-2019
This 18-question self-assessment tool is meant to help organizations to identify and assess the state of learning in their organization. This tool is a starting point for discussion that can help identify areas of strength as well as areas for improvement.
pdf file
Organizational Learning Question Bank   1.09MB   1 version
Uploaded - 05-10-2019
This Question Bank offers users the ability to draw from a variety of questions that can help to inform and start a dialogue with grant applicants or recipients on their learning culture and goals. Some of these questions can be used in a grant application template or in a more informal conversation with a potential grant recipient. They may also be useful internally for discussing or reviewing a grant application.
pdf file
How-To Training Guide   3.64MB   1 version
Uploaded - 05-10-2019
This is a companion training resource to the Achieving Greater Impact By Starting with Learning guide. It is meant to be used as a training tool for organization staff to better understand the importance of organizational learning, how to understand your organization’s own learning culture, and how to engage externally with others in a learning-focused way.
pdf file
Achieving Greater Impact by Starting with Learning   998K   1 version
Uploaded - 05-10-2019
This guide explores strategies that grantmakers can use to lay the groundwork for meaningful evaluation by focusing on learning rather than measurement early in the grant application process. We begin by defining what a learning culture or learning organization means and why it is important. Then, we discuss some of the key elements of learning organizations. Lastly, we outline some principles for grantmakers to help guide the development of a learning relationship with future grant recipients. This guide was developed with the support of the Ontario Nonprofit Network.