Dear Partners,


In October 2011 Oak Foundation developed a plan entitled “Striving for Excellence:  A Framework for Moving Forward.”   This framework, based on the results of the Grantees Perception Survey and consultation with Trustees and Staff, identified a number of issues requiring further study and action by Oak during the course of the next three years.


Since this time, the foundation has made significant progress towards addressing these issues.  Action to date includes:


Issue 1: Streamlining our grant making processes


Results: Trustees have approved modifications to the existing application process.  The modified process will be piloted with selected partners during the first half of 2013 and will be implemented across the foundation by the end of 2013. Modifications include, among others, clarifying some questions on the application and budget forms and tailoring key documents for core support grants.


Issue 2: Defining sustainability and understanding better the capacity development needs of our partners


Results: A working group met in November 2012 to establish an Oak definition for sustainability and to consider ways in which Oak can strengthen the capacity of its partners.  The group is currently drafting recommendations which will be presented to the Trustees in April 2013. Oak has also employed a full-time staff member to support this process and explore various ways     to bolster Oak’s capacity building efforts.


Issue 3: Understanding how Oak can contribute to systems change and the scaling-up of new ideas and innovations


Results:  A working group has been established to explore this issue during 2013 and will make recommendations to the Trustees in April 2014.


Issue 4: Tapping innovations, through improved communications and other mechanisms.


Results: A communications plan has been develop and presented to the Trustees. Key   elements of this plan are the improvement of our internet and the development of more regular channels through which to interact with grantees and other partners.


During the course of the next few months, we will continue to provide updates on progress via our website.


For more information, please read excerpts from the Striving for Excellence: A Framework for Moving Forward as well as the full results of the Grantee Perception Survey.


We look forward to continued collaboration in the years ahead.


Kathleen Cravero