We are pleased to present publications related to our three grantmaking program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth, as well as publications about philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. In the boxes to the right, you can find links to Irvine's annual reports and Grantee Perception Reports.
Our expanded Community Foundations Series now includes resources to help a community foundation become a recognized community leader. A new paper, Learning to Lead, addresses the questions: How can emerging community foundations define their leadership opportunity, role and first steps? How can they lead meaningfully with limited resources? It includes lessons, examples and planning tools generated through the experience of a group of small, growing community foundations in California.
Download (April 2012) (PDF, 2 MB)
You may also view the accompanying worksheets contained within the report at www.irvine.org/communityfoundations, or watch a video on board engagement.
Our expanded Community Foundations Series now includes resources to help a community foundation staff at a small scale for big results. A new paper, Sizing Up, addresses the question: How can emerging community foundations staff at small scale for big results? It presents principles employed by a group of small, growing community foundations in California, and illustrates the priorities and personalities that were drivers of specific staffing approaches.
Download (April 2012) (PDF, 3 MB)
You may also view the accompanying case studies and worksheets at www.irvine.org/communityfoundations, or watch a video on staffing.
Our expanded Community Foundations Series now includes resources to help a community foundation encourage its board members to be fully engaged in helping the organization grow and fulfill its mission. A new paper, On Board, addresses the question: How can an emerging community foundation encourage board members to be fully engaged in helping the organization grow and fulfill its mission? It presents a summary of roles and techniques for involving board members, as well as testimonials and tools drawn from the experience of a group of small, growing community foundations in California.
Download (April 2012) (PDF, 1 MB)
You may also view the accompanying case studies and worksheets at www.irvine.org/communityfoundations, or watch a video on leadership.
This report offers an overview of 2011 grantmaking by the James Irvine Foundation that supported low-income populations and communities of color. In 2011, we awarded total grants of $65 million, approximately half of which was granted to organizations that focus exclusively on low-income people and/or communities of color. Grants that do not explicitly focus on these populations were not included in that category, although a majority of our other grants are also supporting low-income populations or communities of color by virtue of California’s demographics.
Download (January 2012) (PDF, 154 KB)
The Community Leadership Project (CLP) is a collaborative effort funded by the Irvine, Packard and Hewlett foundations to strengthen the leadership and organizational capacities of small organizations serving low-income people and communities of color. Begun in 2009, the project now involves more than 100 community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley. This interim progress report by Social Policy Research Associates identifies promising strategies for capacity building of small and mid-sized organizations and documents the preliminary impact of CLP on leaders, organizations, intermediaries and foundation partners.
Download (January 2012) (PDF, 265 KB)
This report assesses the value and impact of our Fund for Leadership Advancement, an Irvine Special Initiative that supports the development of individual leaders as a way to increase the impact of our existing grantees. After several years of making grants from this Fund, we decided to consider updates that would insure that the program takes into account the economic and social circumstances our grantees currently face. We commissioned Harder+Company Community Research to conduct an external assessment of these grants and help us understand where and how FLA has had the greatest impact. Overall, the assessment report confirmed the value and strength of the FLA model and affirmed the core beliefs that undergird FLA.
Download (September 2011) (PDF, 104 KB)
This report offers an overview of 2010 grantmaking by the James Irvine Foundation that supported low-income populations and communities of color. Approximately 50 percent of our total grantmaking of $64.7 million in 2010 was granted to organizations that explicitly focus on these populations. Grants that do not explicitly focus on these populations were not included in that category, although a majority of our other grants are also supporting low-income populations or communities of color by virtue of California’s demographics.
Download (February 2011) (PDF, 504 KB)
Visibility is vital to community foundations as they seek to gain credibility and attract new resources. But how can younger and smaller community foundations best use their limited marketing budgets? What audiences should they target first? How important is broad public awareness — and how much investment does it merit? This paper, written by Williams Group, addresses these questions and offers a tested model along with relevant examples and worksheets to help any community foundation create and manage its marketing program.
Download (January 2011) (PDF, 1.2 MB)
It’s commonly known that board members can help community foundations grow assets and impact. But the trick is to help them engage fully — and confidently — as ambassadors who connect their community foundation to new donors and other key audiences. This paper, written by Williams Group, presents five essential elements in nurturing board ambassadors, and provides examples as well as tested exercises and tools to help strengthen board ambassadors in any community foundation.
Download (January 2011) (PDF, 1.1 MB)
This report offers an overview of 2009 grantmaking by the James Irvine Foundation that supported low-income populations and communities of color. About half of the Foundation's 2009 grantmaking of $67 million (or $33.5 million) was granted to organizations that explicitly focus on these populations. Grants that do not explicitly focus on these populations were not included in the 50 percent figure, although a majority of our other grants are also supporting low-income populations or communities of color by virtue of California’s demographics.
Download (February 2010) (PDF, 49 KB)
This report highlights five key trends and how their coming together will shape the social sector of the future. Based on extensive review of existing research and in-depth interviews with thought leaders and nonprofit leaders and activists, it explores the trends (Demographic Shifts; Technological Advances; Networks Enabling Work to be Organized in New Ways; Rising Interest in Civic Engagement and Volunteerism; and Blurring of Sector Boundaries) and looks at the ways nonprofits can successfully navigate the changes. The monograph is by La Piana Consulting, a national firm dedicated to strengthening nonprofits and foundations.
Download (November 2009) (PDF, 855 KB)
This report presents key insights from Irvine’s Fund for Leadership Advancement, an initiative to improve the leadership abilities of executive directors of selected grantee organizations. Based on an evaluation of the first 20 participating organizations, it finds that relatively small investments in leadership support can yield important gains in organizational effectiveness. And it suggests that the fund’s approach, which includes executive coaching and consulting on organizational development, is an effective one, although it identifies some areas for improvement. The evaluation was conducted by BTW informing change, a firm that provides information-based services, including evaluation, to the nonprofit and philanthropic sector.
Download (October 2009) (PDF, 470 KB)
As part of its work to advance the multiple pathways approach to high school education, Irvine engaged the Bridgespan Group to develop a framework for assessing the nature and needs of the fields in which nonprofits operate. These agents of change often struggle to understand how to focus their field-building investments and activities because they lack a comprehensive and coherent map of the strengths and weaknesses of their field. This framework provides a guide for building more robust fields and can help foundations and nonprofits prioritize their investments.
Download (June 2009) (PDF, 742 KB)
A new survey of foundation trustees highlights the importance of improved evaluation techniques in order to meet their needs and increase the effectiveness of the foundations they lead. FSG Social Impact Advisors, with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, interviewed dozens of foundation trustees, CEOs and evaluation experts, with a particular focus on California foundations, to uncover critical issues and important ideas related to evaluation. The resulting Evaluation Kit for Trustees sheds light on what foundation trustees think about evaluation — and provides foundations with tools for engaging their trustees in exploring and informing evaluation strategies.
What’s the Difference, a summary of trustee perspectives on evaluation. (June 2009) (PDF, 742 KB)
Snapshots, brief case studies that illustrate how trustees are successfully using evaluations. (June 2009) (PDF, 704 KB)
Let’s Consider Evaluation, a simple self-assessment to capture trustee points of view on evaluation purpose, method and cost. (June 2009) (PDF, 484 KB)
Let’s Discuss Evaluation, a framework for leading a meaningful trustee dialogue on evaluation, including a facilitator’s guide. (June 2009) (PDF, 499KB and 481 KB)
Let’s Make Evaluation Work, a planning guide for unraveling common evaluation issues and indentifying strategies that might work for your organization. (June 2009) (PDF, 493 KB)
Irvine engaged the Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management, University of San Francisco, to help identify strengths and challenges in the nonprofit sector of the Inland Empire, a vast region with a diverse and growing population. As this two-county region grows and changes, the infrastructure of its nonprofit sector is not keeping pace. This report documents the results of a five-year study of nonprofit contributions to the region, compares it with the nonprofit sectors of other Southern California regions, and looks at nonprofit fiscal health. Intended to help prepare civic, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders of the Inland Empire to take action, this report spotlights key issues and offers recommendations for strengthening the region’s nonprofit sector.
Full Report (March 2009) (PDF, 2.95 MB)
Executive Summary (March 2009) (PDF, 2.90 MB)
An Irvine-commissioned white paper explores the range of ways private foundations can engage in public policy. The paper, by independent consultant Julia Coffman, who has worked with numerous foundations, proposes a framework for public policy grantmaking. The paper suggests specific lessons that foundations should keep in mind when considering policy-related grantmaking, and highlights four case studies illustrating the variety of approaches foundations should consider. Irvine is increasingly engaged in the public policy arena, so we commissioned the paper to deepen our understanding of policy-related grantmaking.
Download (March 2008) (PDF, 575 KB)
It’s a striking paradox: As community foundations grow their assets, their sustainability is often threatened. Younger and smaller community foundations can define a solid pathway to growth, and this paper, written by FSG, can help. It describes case studies and economic models that can inform community foundations of virtually any size. It also includes an executive summary and discussion guide, as well as an overview presentation introducing core concepts for board members.
Downloads: (October 2007)
Full Report (PDF, 2 MB)
Executive Summary (PDF, 175 KB)
Discussion Guide (PDF, 37 KB)
Board Presentation (PPT, 5.6 MB)
This briefing paper, prepared by TCC Group with funding from Irvine, offers guidance for funders about how to plan, implement, and evaluate long-term, capacity-building initiatives. These initiatives defined as sustained efforts to help a select group of nonprofit grantees reach a new level of effectiveness offer grantmakers an opportunity to increase their impact beyond project-based support. But they can also introduce much greater complexity into the grantmaking process because of the need for a longer time horizon, multiple sites, and issues of confidentiality. This paper helps funders navigate these complexities.
Download (April 2007) (PDF, 2 MB)
This report, commissioned by the Irvine Foundation and prepared by Putnam Community Investment Consulting, provides a comprehensive picture of private philanthropy in California. The report shows that many California counties are underserved by foundations, particularly in the rapidly growing Inland Empire and Central Valley. Many counties in these regions received less than $10 per capita in annual foundation giving compared with $102 per capita statewide. It also shows that community foundations are playing an important role in the state, providing more than 15 percent of the combined giving from community and private foundations.
Download (November 2006) (PDF, 3.3 MB)
2011 Annual Report
2010 Annual Report
2009 Annual Report
Grantee Perception Reports