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Brain Trust

Get expert advise on your causal work

The Causal Pathways Brain Trust is an easily accessed space for funders to engage with causal pathways experts in a small, private session. It is designed to decrease barriers to entry into causal pathways work and expand the models, practices, and approaches funders are exposed to as they enter into the work or refine their existing practices.

Funders at any stage of their causal pathways work are invited to participate in the Brain Trust. A Brain Trust engagement from the intro call until the receipt of recommendations lasts about two to three months.  Email us at to set up your intro call!

How it works

Intro call to assess needs

Recruiting experts

Advising call discussion

Funder meets with the initiative Project Manager and a Co-Director to explain  the funder's needs. At this time we will also assess the fit of the questions/needs for the Brain Trust experts, agree on the budget and number of evaluators to participate, determine logistics, and identify pre-read materials.

Network members will be recruited to participate, matching their knowledge to the context, need, and what the funder is hoping to achieve. The date will be confirmed and network members will review pre-read materials and begin to explore the need with each other.

A Facilitator, the funder, Project Manager and  Brain Trust Advisors  will come together for a two-hour call to explore the questions posed by the funder. If there is no pre-reading or other work to prepare the network members for the session, the session can be scheduled for 3 hours with the assumption of an initial presentation by the funder to explain the context and their needs.

Each Advisor will be asked to email final thoughts within a week of the session. These thoughts will be compiled and sent to the funder in an email, along with the contact information for all of the participating advisors.

Follow up

Funders that engage with our Brain Trust will walk away with guidance on how to address their specific causal pathways questions and concerns, as well as with relationships and contacts with experienced evaluators that are experts at conducting evaluations through a causal pathways lens. 

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