1 Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Kentucky Coal Facts, 15th Edition, 2015.
2 This definition draws from research that Carl Sussman and the TCC Group have done on adaptive capacity. Carl Sussman, “Building Adaptive Capacity: The Quest for Improved Organizational Performance,” 2004. Anne Sherman, “Everyday Leaders: Building the Adaptive Capacity of Nonprofit Organizations,” TCC Perspectives, Winter 2005, p. 2.
3 Each of these organizational and systems theorists has published highly influential books, including Donella H. Meadows and Diana Wright, Thinking in Systems: A Primer, White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008; Peter M. Senge, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, New York: Currency/Doubleday, 2006; Margaret J. Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2006); Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky, Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Business Press, 2002; and Henry Mintzberg, Tracking Strategies: Toward a General Theory, New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
4 Patricia Patrizi, Elizabeth Heid Thompson, Julia Coffman, and Tanya Beer, “Eyes Wide Open: Learning as Strategy Under Conditions of Complexity and Uncertainty,” The Foundation Review, vol. 5, no. 3, 2013, pp. 50-65.
5 J. McCray, Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), 2014, p. 3.
6 In GEO’s 2014 survey of staffed foundations, 77 percent of the respondents reported that their foundation is investing resources in building the capacity of their grantees in areas such as leadership development, fundraising, communications, technology, and evaluation. Of those foundations that provide this support, 27 percent reported that their investment had increased over the past three years while only 6 percent reported that it had declined. Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Strengthening Nonprofit Capacity, 2015.
7 Ellie Buteau and Phil Buchanan, Working Well With Grantees: A Guide for Foundation Program Staff, 2013, Center for Effective Philanthropy, p. 7.
8 Christian Seelos and Johnanna Mair argue that foundations are overly enamored with the idea of investing in innovative projects while also failing to fully appreciate the value of adaptation. “The prevailing innovation discourse may push organizations toward adopting innovative practices, when actually more incremental developmental practices would produce more value over time” (p. 47). Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair, “Innovation Is the Not the Holy Grail,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2012, pp. 44-49.
9 Rural Support Partners provides capacity-building and community development assistance to organizations in Central Appalachia, while also serving as the backbone organization for the Appalachia Funders Network and the Central Appalachian Network.
10 Evocative grantmaking has an intent similar to that of venture philanthropy, but the models differ in terms of who is providing support to the grantees and the nature of that support. Evocative grantmaking stresses the role of foundation staff, especially the program officer, while venture philanthropy focuses on ways in which donors can help nonprofits improve their effectiveness. In addition, the evocative grantmaker maintains an outsider role rather than becoming directly engaged in the business of the grantee as venture philanthropists sometimes do.
11 See http://kbr.org/news/healthy-places-nc-cultivating-community-health-andwellness for a description of the initiative.
12 I have purposely refrained from using the term “partnership” to describe the relationship between funder and grantee under evocative grantmaking. A partnership suggests that there is parity in power between the two parties. With any form of grantmaking, including evocative grantmaking, the funder clearly retains the power to begin and end the relationship, so it cannot be a true partnership.
13 These competencies are described by Ed O’Malley, CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center, in the inaugural issue of the center’s journal, “The Competencies for Civic Leadership,” Journal of Kansas Civic Leadership Development, vol. 1, no. 11, 2009, pp. 7-15. O’Malley was joined by Marty Linsky and David Chrislip in the development of the competencies. Not surprisingly, the competencies are based directly on the concept of adaptive leadership articulated by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky.
14 Allison Metz and Douglas Easterling, “Using Implementation Science to Translate Strategy into Practice at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust,” The Foundation Review, vol. 8, no. 2, 2016.
15 Allison Metz and Bianca Albers, “What Does It Take? How Federal Initiatives Can Support the Implementation of Evidence-Based Programs to Improve Outcomes for Adolescents,” Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 54, no. 3, 2014, pp. 92-96.
16 Tom David and Kathleen Enright, The Source Codes of Foundation Culture, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, 2015.