The Foundation Review: Call for papers


Abstracts of up to 250 words are being solicited for Vol. 13, Issue 4, of The Foundation Review. This issue, sponsored by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, is focused on Community Leadership and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs, based on five pillars for sustainable development (economic, social, environmental, cultural, security), acknowledge that sustainable development needs to happen everywhere and that inequality exists within all communities. As such, the SDGs are meant to be implemented in all nations, with a focus on community-level actions, and indicators are meant to ensure that “no one is left behind.”

The goal of this issue is to disseminate what has been learned about how the SDGs have been used by the philanthropic sector at the community level as a communications, organizing, and evaluation framework. International contributions are encouraged. Papers for this issue might address issues such as:

  • What are the benefits for communities and community-focused funders in using the SDGs? Can it be demonstrated that using the framework has led to better outcomes for communities?
  • How have the SDGs been used to promote coordinated community action? How have community, corporate, and family foundations used them for collaboration? How are they related to other familiar tools and frameworks (e.g., impact investing, collective impact) for community-level collaboration and shared metrics?
  • How does the global nature of the goals help or hinder their use at the community level?
  • What role do the SDGs play in communicating within and across community stakeholders? Are there examples of how they have been used effectively to bring communities together?
  • What are ways in which the SDGs have informed community-level investment and other non-grantmaking decisions of foundations?

Abstracts are due 4th January 2021. If a full paper is invited, it will be due 15th June 2021 for consideration for publication in December 2021. Submit abstracts to

Abstracts are solicited in four categories:

  • Results. Papers in this category generally report on findings from evaluations of foundation-funded work. Papers should include a description of the theory of change (logic model, program theory), a description of the grant-making strategy, the evaluation methodology, the results, and discussion. The discussion should focus on what has been learned both about the programmatic content and about grantmaking and other foundation roles (convening, etc.).
  • Tools. Papers in this category should describe tools useful for foundation staff or boards. By “tool” we mean a systematic, replicable method intended for a specific purpose. For example, a protocol to assess community readiness and standardized facilitation methods would be considered tools. The actual tool should be included in the article where practical. The paper should describe the rationale for the tool, how it was developed, and available evidence of its usefulness.
  • Sector. Papers in this category address issues that confront the philanthropic sector as whole, such as diversity, accountability, etc. These are typically empirically based; literature reviews are also considered.
  • Reflective Practice. The reflective practice articles rely on the knowledge and experience of the authors, rather than on formal evaluation methods or designs. In these cases, it is because of their perspective about broader issues, rather than specific initiatives, that the article is valuable.

Authors can view full manuscript specifications and standards before submitting an abstract here. For more information, please contact Teri Behrens at This same announcement can be viewed on The Foundation Review website.

Leave a comment