Areas of Expertise

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.

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.

How We Work

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Case Studies

Our family foundation is thrilled with the team’s work. They demonstrated a high degree of dedication, emotional intelligence, and fluency in addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, and power dynamics. We could not have created a cross-sector effort to increase social mobility for disadvantaged communities in two cities without the guidance and involvement of FSG.
Joel Tauber, Chairman, Tauber Family Foundation
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
Each individual on the FSG team was phenomenal to work with. They adapted to our culture, and they engaged our operations staff and our program staff. They were a true thought partner.
Earl Maxwell, CEO, St. David's Foundation
Working with FSG has transformed my role as a philanthropist and improved our family foundation’s ability to effect the kind of change we have committed our life to. After working with the team we have a clear goal of what we want to accomplish, how we will get there, and why it is going to be effective.
Caitlin Scott, Board Member, Reissa Foundation
FSG has been a transformative partner in helping us plan the forward trajectory of our community leadership work. Their expertise in collective impact 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

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