Strategic decisions are only as good as the research that goes into making them. Candid's researchers analyze and interpret the most current philanthropic data so you can tap into it. Hundreds of full-text reports published over decades are available to download here in our frequently updated open access repository.

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Sustain Arts/SE Michigan: A Portrait of the Cultural Ecosystem

October 26, 2014

This report discusses the potential use of data in arts organizations for strategic purposes. Data currently available on the cultural sector can lead to useful insights about the increasing proliferation of small arts organizations; the almost monolithic focus of private foundations on supporting a highly select group of large, well-established arts organizations; and the fact that established arts organizations are poorly positioned to satisfy emerging consumer preferences for cultural experiences. Such insights should provoke frank discussion and galvanize field leaders to advocate appropriate actions, both in response to existing disconnects and proactively, in anticipation of coming change. The data that are now available to the field are not perfect. In fact, that's part of the story that needs to be told about the cultural sector. Systematic data collection on artists, cultural organizations, and audiences receives only a token amount of government funding. Instead, it is left largely up to private organizations to document trends in both the nonprofit and for-profit cultural arenas. This leads to multiple non-overlapping data collection strategies, making it difficult to construct a coherent picture of the field. There are gaping holes in the puzzle, and the tales we tell with existing data must be told with caution.

Regional Trends; Special Topic Trends

Growth in Foundation Support for Media in the United States

November 11, 2013

Over the last decade, media -- the means by which we communicate -- has evolved significantly. Television, radio, and print newspapers and magazines were once the primary means to obtain news and information. However, the rapid evolution of the Internet and mobile technology has generated new media platforms and expanded the universe of information creators, producers, and distributors. Media information once flowed in one direction, but the expansion of the field has made the movement more diffuse.With this changing landscape as a backdrop, the Foundation Center, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation, and in collaboration with Media Impact Funders, GuideStar, and the Ford Foundation, sought to provide a fuller picture of media-related grantmaking by U.S. foundations. Tracking investments from 2009 to 2011, the data reveals that foundations are increasingly supporting media-related work across multiple areas. At the same time, they are tapping into larger trends, with investments in new media growing at a faster pace than traditional media investments. However, growth in grantmaking across the spectrum of media is inconsistent -- with growth in public broadcasting falling behind growth in investments in other areas.As demand for media funding continues to rise, these gaps are the most important ones to watch -- especially considering the 2011 Federal Communications Commission report, "The Information Needs of Communities", which called for philanthropy to play a bigger role in supporting media. Since this is a baseline assessment, it will be crucial to see how media grantmaking evolves.

Special Topic Trends

The Evaluation Conversation: A Path to Impact for Foundation Boards and Executives

November 1, 2006

Explores changing the role of evaluation in philanthropy, from a method for measuring program outcomes to a tool for achieving foundation effectiveness and accountability. Part of the series "Practice Matters: The Improving Philanthropy Project".

Special Topic Trends

Philanthropies Working Together: Myths and Realities

February 1, 2005

Takes up the question of foundation individualism and examines the gap between the rhetoric and real incentives of collaboration. Part of the series Practice Matters: The Improving Philanthropy Project.

Special Topic Trends

Philanthropies Working Together: Myths and Realities - Executive Summary

February 1, 2005

Collaboration is on the rise in philanthropy, yet it is still relatively infrequent. Based on interviews with 19 leaders in philanthropy, this paper examines the forces that promote or stifle collaboration, and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of the major approaches now in use. Funders are advised to carefully assess the potential costs and benefits of engaging in collaborative activities because they can require more organizational and financial resources than expected.

Special Topic Trends

Philanthropies Working Together: Myths and Realities - Discussion Guide

February 1, 2005

This discussion guide is designed to help you think through the concepts presented in Robert Hughe's monograph, Philanthropies Working Together, and consider how you might apply them in the everyday practice of philanthropy. The guide contains a checklist designed to help funders assess whether the conditions are in place for successful collaboration as well as four case scenarios illustrating common dynamics in multi-funder initiatives.

Special Topic Trends

The Capacity Building Challenge -- Part II: A Funder's Response

April 1, 2004

Presents one grantmaker's perspective on applying the lessons from this research to the craft of making grants that build nonprofit capacity. Part of the series Practice Matters: The Improving Philanthropy Project.

Special Topic Trends

The Capacity Building Challenge -- Part I: A Research Perspective

April 1, 2004

Examines the capacity building efforts of eight funders and proposes a system for understanding and measuring the outcomes of such efforts. Part of the series Practice Matters: The Improving Philanthropy Project.

Special Topic Trends

Communications for Social Good

April 1, 2004

Examines foundation opportunities and techniques to leverage social change goals through the use of communications media. Part of the series Practice Matters: The Improving Philanthropy Project.

Special Topic Trends

The Capacity Building Challenge: A Research Perspective & A Funder's Response - Executive Summary

April 1, 2004

Investments to enhance the organizational capacity and performance of nonprofits have increased dramatically in recent years. Yet, despite the popularity of the concept, relatively little research is available that clearly demonstrates the value of nonprofit capacity building or links it to improved program outcomes.What is needed are more comparable and comprehensive findings about the outcomes of capacity building, both to ensure the ongoing commitment of funders to support this work and to demonstrate what kinds of capacity building efforts have the greatest effects and when. This paper proposes a system for understanding the various approaches to capacity building and a strategy for measuring the outcomes of capacity building activities

Special Topic Trends

Communications for Social Good - Executive Summary

April 1, 2004

If foundations are more intentional in using communications as a tool for social change, and if they incorporate what is known about how the media affect individuals and groups into their grantmaking, they will be much more likely to achieve the kind of long-term change in public understanding and opinion that is needed to maximize their impact. This paper presents the latest perspectives from communications theory and practice in order to update philanthropic thinking and help philanthropists judge effective communications practices among their grantees and within their own organizations.

Special Topic Trends

Communications for Social Good - Discussion Guide

April 1, 2004

This discussion guide contains six sets of questions designed to help foundations, and the nonprofit organizations they support, to plan effective communications campaigns. The questions are excerpted from the paper, Communications for Social Good, by Susan Nall Bales and Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., and cover the key elements in the design of successful campaigns: defining the problem, audience, messenger, medium, and evaluation strategy. The questions are included here for the convenience of readers who wish to use them for individual review or group discussion purposes.

Special Topic Trends