30 January 2023

How Foundations and Funders Listen – A Qualitative Review in Europe and Brazil

The Maecenata Foundation will host an online colloquium on 30 January where Maecenata’s Visiting Researcher from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation German Chancellor Fellowship, Luisa Bonin, will present the findings of her qualitative research about listening practices of foundations and funders in Europe and Brazil, and officially launch the paper.

By understanding listening processes in philanthropy and social impact investments as a critical aspect of building a trustworthy philanthropic practice, this publication offers a qualitative review of how foundations and funders in Europe and Brazil listen.

To comprehend and be able to qualify and classify their listening practices, the interview script was built upon the work of the ”high-quality feedback loop” organisations, that are advocating for better listening practices in philanthropy and aid. Thirty interviews resulted in learnings and insights regarding why organisations listen, the biggest challenges in the process, phases of the projects where listening occurs, who is to listened, methods to listen, space for feedback, reporting back processes, power imbalance and level of participation.