How do foundations maximize their impact? What is the role of strategy? Is your foundation strategic? Are you? This groundbreaking research examines the current state of decision making at large, private, U.S. foundations. Through in-depth interviews with CEOs and program officers, Beyond the Rhetoric: Foundation Strategy examines foundation leaders’ view and use of strategy in making decisions. Analysis of their responses reveals four categories of decision makers ranging from nonstrategic to strategic. Beyond the Rhetoric sets the stage for future CEP research on the role of strategy in creating foundation impact, and highlights practical implications for CEOs, trustees, and program staff.

October 2007