From Strategic to Emergent Philanthropy: The Evolution of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative

Over the ten years of the Building Healthy Communities initiative (BHC), The California Endowment (TCE) cycled through multiple outcome frameworks as the terrain of the BHC work became more complex. Does that mean that TCE had no idea what we were doing? Or was the repeated swapping of one framework for another, a sign that we became a learning organization that was open to emergence, evolution, and adaption? As the officer charged with stewarding learning and evaluation at TCE, I admit that it may have felt like we floundered. But as we got deeper into BHC, we committed ourselves to being pushed by our communities, humbly listening, admitting our mistakes, changing course, and, most importantly, sharing power. As it turned out, that orientation made all the difference.

Read the full blog post, originally featured on The California Endowment’s website, here.