Listening and feedback are central to our approach to impact assessment and learning – and to Irvine’s work overall. We believe we are more effective and create greater impact when we ask and listen, use what we hear to inform our work, and ensure those we listen to know how we applied what we learn.
We focus our listening and feedback practice in three key areas:
The experience, expertise, and insights of our grantees informs and enhances our efforts to create a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically. We invite feedback in different ways – by hosting grantee convenings and workshops, during grantee site visits, and through grantee perception surveys – as we develop and adjust our grantmaking strategies.
We believe listening and feedback can help nonprofits more effectively serve their community and reach their goals. We help grantees enhance their listening and feedback efforts in various ways, including through our involvement as a core funder for the Fund for Shared Insight, as well as separate support for about twelve Irvine grantees to participate in Fund for Shared Insight’s signature Listen4Good initiative. The initiative helps nonprofits improve how they listen and respond to the people they serve and make meaningful improvements to the programs and services they provide.
Additionally, we support grantee efforts to lift the voices of those they serve. For example, Irvine grantee, SaverLife, harnesses the financial data, perspectives, and experiences of their more than 300,000 members to inform program design and implementation and shift perceptions of workers who struggle with poverty.
We regularly listen to the people and communities we serve to better understand their experiences and respond effectively to their needs. We heard directly from working Californians in a series of Community Listening Sessions held during the first year of our new focus on economic advancement for workers with low incomes. Their experiences and insights helped inform our thinking and doing. We continue to build our listening efforts, including through commissioning research and surveys, facilitating roundtables, and new community listening sessions. Recent examples of our listening efforts include: