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December 28, 2017

ConAgra Foods Foundation

BACKGROUND

Changing Our World served as the strategic advisor for the ConAgra Foods Foundation from 2006 to 2016, when new leadership took over at the company and Foundation. During our first engagement in 2006, Changing Our World led the Foundation through a strategic planning process helping to increase alignment between the company’s business objectives and philanthropic mission. We created and helped to launch the company’s signature initiative focused on child hunger and nutrition, Nourish Today, Flourish Tomorrow. It serves as the umbrella for all of the company’s community involvement activities, including cash contributions, in-kind donations, executive involvement and employee engagement programs. Over the course of a decade, the Foundation reengaged Changing Our World annually to implement and refine the grantmaking, employee volunteerism, partner stewardship, and measurement and evaluation components of the platform.

CHALLENGE

Changing Our World also provided executive counsel and worked to continually refine the strategy of the Foundation in order to achieve optimal social impact and alignment with business goals. For example, in 2011, Changing Our World was tasked with engaging in a new strategic planning process to bring innovation, imagination and impact to the Foundation’s portfolio of programs. As part of the planning process, we managed the preparation and facilitation of a think tank meeting through which nine external social-sector influencers attended a summit to brainstorm social enterprise applications to child hunger.

SOLUTION

Complementing the think tank, Changing Our World conducted a thorough environmental scan of the entire landscape of child hunger including the legislative climate, the evolution of nonprofit and corporate responses to the issue, and key opportunities for the Foundation to achieve its objectives. In 2015, Changing Our World was engaged to conduct a landscape analysis to support a potential ConAgra Foods Foundation strategy focused on a holistic approach to healthy child development by supporting “nutritious environments” for children across the United States. We began this undertaking by first conducting exploratory research among academic sources and leading organizations in the food security and nutrition fields in order to develop an internal definition of the “nutritious environments.” From there, we conducted research on the key issues, programs, and players within the environments and made recommendations for key opportunities for the Foundation to pursue. As we updated the Foundation’s strategy, we also updated its theory of change, measurement framework, and tools.
In addition to strategically stewarding more than $60 million to scale innovative programs and support community organizations to bring more resources and services to children in need, our work also helped to establish the Foundation as a thought leader in the child hunger and nutrition space. During the final year of our partnership, ConAgra Foods earned a perfect score in Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy dimension of the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

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