Key Points

· Research shows that while foundation leadership and staff value strategy and foundations largely perceive themselves as strategic, they often struggle to articulate, implement, and track strategy. The William Penn Foundation has developed a collection of tools to articulate and assess its progress toward strategic goals.

· Each tool employs a structured format to promote standardization; flexibility, though, is encouraged in the application of each tool to ensure that form does not dictate function. Each tool provides a template for organizing information that should be tweaked as needed.

· The speed and breadth of adoption of each tool varies and is often related to the ability to communicate and demonstrate the intended benefits. It is important to continue to refine each tool and incorporate it into grantmaking operations to increase its utility to program staff.

· A weakness of each tool is its labor-intensive nature, which makes it resource-intensive in terms of staff time and vulnerable to staff turnover – ultimately raising the question of sustainability.

Open Access