Key Points

Foundations are increasingly coming to appreciate the importance of strategy. But simply having a strategy – even an explicit strategy – does not guarantee that a foundation will actually achieve its goals.

To implement a strategy effectively, a foundation needs to operationalize it in the form of specific functions that staff will carry out and needs to create an organizational infrastructure that supports the strategy. The field of implementation science offers a set of tools for helping foundations address these tasks.

After introducing some general principles of implementation science, this article describes in depth the concepts of practice profiles, which translate programs or strategies into specific activities to be carried out by implementation staff, and implementation drivers, which point to organizational factors that determine whether a program or strategy is implemented well enough to achieve its intended outcomes.

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Open Access Sponsor

Support for the preparation of this manuscript and for open access to the article was provided by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.