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FSG helps private and community foundations, as well as family and individual philanthropists, create social change. Our services range from targeted efforts to address specific strategic questions to complete design, implementation, and evaluation of strategic initiatives.

Philanthropy Projects 


We work with funders to create lasting change.

  • We help staff and boards articulate values and develop a vision for how they can contribute to transformative change.
  • We support funders in their efforts to structure and support community engagement to help surface community-identified priorities.
  • We develop comprehensive plans that identify clear goals and powerful strategies to strengthen our clients' ability to create change.
  • We create action plans to implement new strategies, including high-level communication plans, suggested changes to grant, staffing, and governance processes, and key evaluation metrics and learning techniques.
  • We design evaluation systems and conduct evaluations to improve decision making and learning, so that initiatives, programs, and strategies adapt to changing conditions.

FSG led Greater Texas Foundation through an intensive, 6-month strategic planning process that resulted in a revised mission and vision, as well as a plan that our board and staff actually use to guide our work every day. The FSG team incorporated their strong content knowledge in education to help us make data-based decisions, while facilitating a process to ensure that all voices were heard and incorporated.
Wynn Rosser, Former Executive Director
Greater Texas Foundation
FSG has been a transformative partner in helping us plan the forward trajectory of our community leadership work, and the future of our place-based initiative. Their expertise in collective impact has brought knowledge and credibility to our efforts, and has allowed us to garner the continued confidence and support of key stakeholders throughout the process. I would highly recommend their team!
Shelley Hoss, President
Orange County Community Foundation
FSG is the gold standard in thought leadership for the philanthropic sector. FSG's publications are required reading for our board orientation, volunteers, and peers in the philanthropic community. FSG is always thinking about how to help the field move to the next level of efficacy to change lives for the better in communities around the world.
and FSG BOARD MEMBER          
We now have a shared language for talking about strategy, learning, and evaluation. Through our partnership with FSG, we’ve made big gains toward creating a more intentional culture of learning.
Chera D. Reid, PhD
Director of Strategic Learning, Research, and Evaluation
The Kresge Foundation

How We Work

Our approach to strategic planning allows FSG to be a highly effective partner. Our philanthropy work is based on 5 qualities.

  • Ability to manage complexity and to take a systems view
    We gather appropriate data, generate strategic insights, and make recommendations based on a holistic understanding of how social change occurs. 
  • Linking strategy and evaluation
    We believe questions about the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and impact of strategy should guide an evaluation, and that strategic decision making should be informed by continuous monitoring, learning, and evaluation. 
  • Stakeholder engagement and co-creation
    We know that the best answers come from pooling the collective wisdom of many different actors, and we believe that collaboration across sectors is the key to social change. We are skilled in engaging diverse sets of individuals to spark new ideas, and add value to the planning process.
  • Partnership orientation
    Our clients are partners in the strategy development process, and we seek to incorporate their ideas, expertise, and on-the-ground experience. When we embark on a journey with our clients, we often stay involved to help with the on-the-ground realities of implementation.
  • Desire to build philanthropic and nonprofit fields
    We develop new frameworks to accelerate social change, working with partners to test and refine ideas. 

Research and Tools