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International Giving by U.S. Community Foundations: Local Communities with Global Reach

This report, a joint effort by the Council on Foundations and Foundation Center, examines the current state and recent trends in international giving and engagement by large U.S. community foundations. The first-ever analysis of this type suggests that many community foundations are beginning to adopt a broader, more nuanced definition of “community” than they have in the past.





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Why Every Funder Should Consider Participatory Grantmaking

This blog post discusses participatory grantmaking. This type of grantmaking demonstrates a paradigm shift in how funders work with grantees as agents of change in their communities rather than simply as beneficiaries of aid. It goes beyond grantmaking into the importance of advancing public and democratic participation in decision making. In essence, the process itself is part of the impact.







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Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2017

This publication is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit. Each year, the Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.





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Innovations in Open Grantmaking

This publication seeks to provide inspiration and early proof of concept regarding innovative practices at every stage of the grantmaking process. The examples and lessons included can act as suggested guidelines for future research and experimentation around more openly and effectively providing access to public money.  





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Supporting Grantee Capacity: Strengthening Effectiveness Together

In this publication, we look at how funders approach building capacity with grantees. Through examples from foundations ranging in size, mission, and geography, we explore various strategies for capacity building and the types of awareness that funders can choose to incorporate in decision making to facilitate informed, thoughtful judgments about strengthening organizations.





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Effective Foundation Boards: The Importance of Roles

This publication discusses three keys to more effective foundation governance: achieving role clarity, influence in decision-making and responsibility for impact. These three attributes can be better understood and achieved by examining the roles of foundation board members as individuals and as a collective. Recognizing these important, often overlooked, phenomena will help boards not only have good work that will keep them enthused and committed, but also to produce the good work that the public expects.





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Making Change by Spending Down

This case study shares funder wisdom by highlighting more than 20 voices that support spending down. It offers numerous perspectives on the spend down that result in a detailed collective story. There’s no one right way to do or think about spending down, but sharing and listening help build a strategic approach.    





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Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016

This publication is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit. The Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.  





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Funding Indigenous Peoples: Strategies for Support

This guide looks at how funders collaborate with and bring support to indigenous communities around the world. Through examples from a diverse range of foundations, this guide explores how grantmakers work with indigenous peoples, the approaches they take, and the practices they find effective.





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Participatory Grant Making: A Success Story From Southern Africa

This report outlines the work that was involved in the development and implementation of a pilot grant making initiative, as well as reporting on the first grants that were allocated by The Other Foundation (tOF) for LGBT rights. They received 114 applications for funding, from seven different countries, through an open call to support work that ‘advances the rights and wellbeing of LGBTI people in Southern Africa’.





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Communication That Counts: Lessons From South African Social Investors

This guide offers practical lessons in communicating for impact based on the experiences of funders and others involved in social investment in South Africa. It explores universal themes related to how to communicate with partners, social investors, and grantees; how to identify and achieve communication goals; and how different media can help enhance different messages.





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Scanning the Landscape of Youth Philanthropy

This report shares reflections on an in-depth examination of the story and needs of youth grantmaking (young people making monetary contributions to organizations through established institutions or governing bodies). The report finds that while more than 200 foundations worldwide offer youth grantmaking programs and more than 100 related resources exist, that information is not broadly available. This scan was conducted in partnership with Youth Philanthropy Connect, a program of the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation.





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The Social Impact Incubator: The Segal Family Foundation Invests in Burundian Civil Society

In this case study, the reader will learn about The Segal Family Foundation (SFF) and how they decided that the only way to advance their grantmaking was to build the capacity of local organizations to be leaders and change-makers, as well as inform and influence donors on the pivotal role of civil society in Burundi. To achieve this, SFF created the Social Impact Incubator.





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Roles@Work: Are you playing with a full deck?

This tool includes a card deck with 29 job roles that are typically expected of grantmakers, and includes a brief explanation of what they are. Use the cards to jumpstart a conversation among colleagues about topics like how you weigh different roles, what you do too much of or not enough of, how you orient newcomers, or how you talk about the grantmaker’s role with board members and leaders.







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Reflection on Practice Video: Starting as a New Grantmaker

This video looks at a variety of issues commonly faced by new program officers as they take up their role — from finding promising ideas to support, to understanding the dynamics of good grantee/grantor relations, to helping grantees collaborate effectively with others.







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Programming on a Blank Slate: A Case on grantmaking in rural poverty

This case study tells the story of one grant maker’s experience in starting a new grantmaking program from scratch — no prior grantees, no established procedures, and no set objectives. Highlights: Taking up a new job in a new field; Identifying key issues to address; Narrowing the field & making your first decisions.





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Mapping Change: Using a Theory of Change to Guide Planning and Evaluation

This brief guide explains why grantmakers use theories of change to guide their questioning, unearth assumptions that underlie their work, establish common language, and develop strong action plans. Contributors to the guide also describe how a theory of change sets the stage for evaluation by clarifying goals, strategies, and milestones.











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Funding Community Organizing: Social Change Through Civic Participation

In this guide, funders and organizers discuss what makes community organizing unique and uniquely effective, how to manage grantee relationships over time, understanding the value of process, and the grantmaker’s special role in fostering change.







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Building Financial Strength & Program Quality: A case on grant making to strengthen organizations in a field

In this case study, the reader will learn about a grantmaker who created a new program to strengthen community foundations – building both their financial wealth and the effectiveness of their programs. What choices would you have made? Highlights: Choosing a strategy; Shaping a new program initiative; Using an RFP to advace your goals.





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Translations of GrantCraft Guides

While GrantCraft materials are developed in English, several guides and other resources are available in different languages. These materials have been translated by partnering organizations and adapted for use by native speakers. German, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic.