Pay-What-it-Takes Philanthropy

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It’s time to break the “starvation cycle,” a vexing pattern of underfunding and underinvesting that prevents countless nonprofits from maximizing their impact. Despite years of conversation around the topic of funding the real cost of programs, many grantmakers continue to pay flat—and too low—overhead rates regardless of a their grantees’ actual needs. “Pay what it takes” philanthropy looks to remedy the situation by providing a flexible approach to funding, grounded in real costs. By taking into account the true dollars needed, this new approach has the potential to shift funding from programs and services to what it actually takes to create impact.

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Content Partner: Bridgespan Group

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Publication/Event Date:

May 2016

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Jeri Eckhart-Queenan, Michael Etzel, Sridhar Prasad



General Grantmaking Skills
Grantmaking and Changemaking

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