Scanning the Landscape 2.0

Finding Out What’s Going on in Your Field


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We talked with funders working in the US, Europe, and internationally about when, why, and how it’s useful to scan the landscape for new ideas and new directions. This updated edition of a 2004 GrantCraft guide reflects key changes in philanthropy, from the rise of social media to a growing tendency to scan continuously for changes and opportunities.

  • What to ask, and how to ask it
  • Using data visualization for your learning
  • Online tools for scanning

"Weekly blogs linked to Facebook have been successful in generating engagement among our grantees and the larger community."

— A communications director on the use of
social media in a scan

"One of the primary benefits of scanning is ‘sense-making’ and visuals and frameworks can play a major role toward that end."

— A funder on using data visualization to identify potential opportunities for a foundation

"I mostly listened and asked questions. I tried to understand who they were and what they were saying, and what they didn’t say."

— A program officer on the importance of scanning