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Foundation Strategy

FSG partners with private and community foundations and philanthropists to create social change. Since 2000, FSG has advised the world’s leading philanthropic organizations on how to best leverage their resources to improve lives around the world. Our services range from addressing specific strategic questions to the comprehensive design, implementation, and evaluation of strategic initiatives.

Foundation Strategy Projects 

Expertise

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.

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FSG’s Approach to Strategy

  • Co-creation with clients: We build close partnerships with our clients to leverage their expertise and create customized plans based on their unique capacity, values, and culture. It is important that we create a positive and powerful experience for clients, using our time together to generate insights.
  • Adept at facilitation: We bring a rigorous approach to analysis. But patterns and insights alone don’t lead to collaborative decision-making. We believe that skillful facilitation encourages stakeholders to tap into their wisdom. Our staff brings expert facilitation skills, using creative techniques to engage individuals at all levels of the system and enable decision-making.
  • Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI): Our commitment to DEI shapes the questions we ask, the way we analyze data, how we engage with people, and the recommendations we make on strategy and part­nerships.
  • Systems change orientation: We understand that social change requires systems change. We explore issues from a systems perspective, looking deeply at context, connections, and patterns and incorporating multiple perspectives into our work.
  • 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. 

Research and Tools