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Field Notes

Ever wonder whether your work is really making a difference?

I had the good fortune to participate in GEO’s Capacity Building Champions around the same time Andrew Wolk, our CEO, began interrogating our intermediary and consulting role and Root Cause launched a corresponding internal theory of change process. As part of that effort, I began reflecting more on my experiences getting to know our clients’ beneficiaries via focus groups, interviews, and site visits. I also reflected on my time volunteering with homeless families and sought out a local poverty simulation event to empathize with those whose lives we sought to improve.

Something seemed off. While Root Cause drove one initiative after another with apparent success, we had neglected to first understand the day-to-day lived reality of people and families and use it to shape our work. Did they believe their lives were improving? When I reframed my work in that perspective, I began to see a clear disconnect.

Read more about Anand’s reflection on improving the lives of people and families on the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) blog.

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