Our German Chancellor Fellow Luisa Bonin has published an Opusculum assessing the Feedback Loop Methodology and how funders’ decision-making processes on philanthropy should responsibly engage with those at the heart of their work.
In modern philanthropy, it is becoming more common for funder organisations to claim they listen to the people they want to support, but often with a focus on how much they value listening, and not openly publicising the course corrections that have been made from that. The fundamental question of how funders and foundations listen to those who matter the most for their work and take their voices into account to make decisions may be related to how society criticises and trusts philanthropy. From the perspective that is essential to take beneficiaries’ voices into account when making decisions to build a trustworthy philanthropic practice, this article offers an overview of the guidelines and theoretical basis of the “high-quality feedback loop” methodology, as the practice suggests a complete process to collect feedback and course correct in philanthropic projects. Based on published reports, also explores how some foundations in the US implement this process. Going beyond the analysis, it reflects on how the “high-quality feedback loop” process could be more valued by modern philanthropists and become a standard practice.