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Philanthropy

We offer a wide range of advisory services to private, community, and corporate foundations, from targeted efforts to address specific strategic questions, to complete design, implementation, and evaluation of strategic initiatives.

Philanthropy Projects 

Expertise

We work with funders to create lasting change.

  • We help staff and boards develop a vision for how they can contribute to transformative change.
  • We support foundations 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 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. 

CLOTILDE DEDECKER, PRESIDENT & CEO
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR GREATER BUFFALO
and FSG BOARD MEMBER

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