Key Points

· Knowledge development is an emerging field in philanthropy and sits at the convergence of movement toward engagement, data-based decision-making, and networked learning for social and policy change.

· This article explores five knowledge-development trajectories at one family foundation that has funded a long-term change initiative. The trajectories include tools and frames that have been developed for increasing organizational learning, beginning network learning, and informing both program and operations for enhanced strategy implementation.

· Making the organizational shift from entrenched notions of third-party evaluation to creating a diversified knowledge development approach opened up new opportunities to think and talk about value in philanthropic work.

· This article also chronicles knowledge development from its inception as a dedicated position within a foundation, and raises key challenges and questions that can be useful to other foundations considering a knowledge function.

Streaming Media