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  • 11 Sep 2013

PHF’s strategic review

We are embarking on a review of our work, with the aim of putting in place a new strategy for the Foundation. All of our Open Grants programmes will continue to accept applications throughout this process.

During the review, we hope to hear from a wide range of people and organisations on their opinions about what PHF should be doing. To help us generate ideas and learn more about the contexts we are working in, we are inviting people to complete the statement – ‘PHF should…’ Our hope is that in this way we can uncover a range of ideas for consideration in the review, in an open and transparent way. It is an ambitious scheme, but we believe that we will end up with a stronger strategy by taking on board as many perspectives as we can.

‘PHF should…’ is intended to attract clear and direct challenges to the Foundation. We are looking to be stimulated and provoked by new ideas. The ‘PHF should…’ exercise provides an opportunity for people to influence how and what the Foundation does in the future.

We are committed to our review process being transparent – not just because it will help people to understand the new strategy when it emerges, but also because we believe it will help us to do a better job. We want to solicit a wide range of opinion so that we have as much evidence at our disposal as possible to guide our decisions.

How to take part

There are three main ways to take part in ‘PHF should…’.

  • Ideas can be emailed to We are not seeking long essays. At this stage, succinctly expressed ideas are best – a side of A4 if possible or a few pages at most. We will seek to return to ideas and develop them further if they are interesting.
  • We have launched a blog for the strategy review, where some provocations are published. The blog is at We welcome comments on any of the ideas on display.
  • Twitter users can tweet us their thoughts using the hashtag #PHFshould.

We are interested in new ideas and thoughts on what we should tackle and how we should change. Throughout we want to be faithful to the values and interests of the foundation, with an interest in the role and power of the arts and education and tackling disadvantage. Within these fields, though, is a host of issues, social problems and opportunities. We want people to help us choose where we should focus.

‘PHF should…’ is the external component of a wider review project. Alongside desk research and other forms of stakeholder consultation such as round-tables, this will involve a review of data we have obtained on our impact and performance, such as our 2012 report ‘Assessing Impact’. The Grantee Perception Report, which we commissioned from the Center for Effective Philanthropy for the second time in 2012, also provides important feedback from grantees and applicants.

We expect the review to last about 12 months in total, with a new strategy published in summer 2014. However, the key public engagement phase will last for the first few months, after which we will need to work through ideas and map out the strategy.