Organizational Profile

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations


Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a diverse community of more than 500 grantmakers reshaping the way philanthropy operates to invest in nonprofit success.

Mission: Understanding that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success.

Nonprofits are successful at achieving more meaningful change in our communities when they have the resources and skills to be effective. By not adequately responding to what nonprofits say they need most to maximize impact, funders can inadvertently do harm to the organizations and causes we intend to support. Changing grantmaker practice is hard work, but our communities can’t afford for us to wait.

In 1997 a group of philanthropic leaders saw the need for a space where grantmakers could come together to share knowledge and best practices, and inspire their colleagues to act. What started out as a small gathering has grown into a movement connecting grantmakers dissatisfied with the status quo for practical conversations about the best ways to support nonprofits to achieve better results.

For more than 15 years the GEO community has advanced smarter grantmaking practices that enable nonprofits to grow stronger and more effective. As a result, GEO members consistently outpace other funders in terms of making productive changes to help nonprofits achieve more — such as providing support for grantee capacity building, engaging external voices in decision-making, giving multiyear grants, forming strategic partnerships and funding collaboration among grantees.

The GEO community provides grantmakers with the resources and connections to build knowledge and improve both mindset and practice, in areas that are most critical to nonprofit success:

  • Strengthening Relationships with Grantees: Grantmakers shape more effective solutions by building relationships with grantees based on trust and tapping the knowledge and perspective of grantees and community members.
  • Supporting Nonprofit Resilience: Grantmakers enable high-performing nonprofits to focus on long-term mission fulfillment by providing support that is flexible, reliable and enables grantees to build critical skills.
  • Learning for Improvement: Grantmakers use evaluation to continuously learn and improve by partnering with grantees to collect and share greater insights about what is or is not working, and why.
  • Collaborating for Greater Impact: Grantmakers achieve greater impact by partnering with other organizations in pursuit of common goals and providing grantees with support for collaborative efforts.

GEO conferences offer unparalleled opportunities for grantmakers to explore the most relevant topics in the field and problem solve with like-minded peers. Members find value in how GEO’s resources lift up proven practices, promising ideas and examples from within our community and across the broader philanthropic field. GEO offers peer-to-peer networking tools to facilitate connections that are useful in addressing shared challenges and providing support to turn knowledge into action.

Working together, we are learning more about what works and leveraging our knowledge and resources to improve our communities. Join GEO to be part of this growing movement to support a more effective nonprofit sector.

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Target Audience: Program staff, Communications staff, Executive staff, Trustees

Services Provided: Conferences, Resources, Training

Geographic Scope: National

Target Organizations: Community foundation, Public foundation, Corporate grantmaker, Family foundation, Independent, Operating foundation

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