FavoriteKey Points Foundations increasingly recognize that improving conditions in many communities requires addressing inequities in access to rights and resources. Yet there are challenges to effective investment in underresourced regions, especially when foundations have limited familiarity with the region and may assume limited local capacity to leverage philanthropic investments. This article discusses how Sierra Health Foundation partnered with other California and national foundations to establish the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund, a collaborative whose grants focus on strengthening the capacity of communities and organizations in the Valley to advance policy and systems changes that promote health and racial equity. This Read more
FavoriteParticipatory grantmaking is increasingly visible and of interest to a range of funders, because it revolutionizes traditional structures of philanthropy. Specifically: It redefines who qualifies as a “grantmaker,” and challenges traditional power dynamics, which affect everything from who knows about grant opportunities to who gets those grants. It goes beyond grantmaking to the importance of advancing public and democratic participation in decision making. It strengthens trust and credibility between donors and grantees. Written by Cynthia Gibson, the guide features voices and examples drawn from a range of participatory grantmakers. Participatory grantmaking models range in geographic scale—from local neighborhoods to global Read more
FavoriteKey Points Funders can play a proactive role in helping to fill the gap between funders’ expectations and nonprofits’ ability to evaluate grant results. Using a partner-centered design, Johnson & Johnson piloted an evaluation capacity-building initiative that supported eight grantees in strengthening their ability to measure and use findings concerning health-related outcomes, by focusing on key evaluation challenges identified by the grantees. Grantees’ approaches to capacity building naturally grouped around the areas of evaluation- framework development, data-systems strengthening, and staff training. Through individualized projects, grantees increased their ability to both do and use evaluation. This article describes the design, implementation, Read more
FavoriteNNCG’s Knowledge Center is a searchable, online database of resources for and about grantmaking, produced by highly qualified and experienced philanthropy consultants. NNCG’s Knowledge Center contains a wealth of reports, case studies, infographics, issue briefs, videos and more that offer ideas, research and helpful information about almost every aspect of philanthropy. Each item was authored or published by an NNCG member.
Author: National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG)
Favorite Since its launch in 2016, the Peace and Security Funding Index has helped define the field of peace and security grantmaking. Each year, we collect and categorize thousands of grants awarded by hundreds of foundations working on peace and security issues across the globe. In 2015—the latest complete year for which grants data is available1—336 foundations made 2,908 grants, totaling $351 million, in support of peace and security work. This research centers around a framework of three overarching categories that support activities to prevent future conflict, resolve existing conflict, and support stability and resiliency. The three categories are further Read more
FavoriteConnecticut Toolkit for Giving By giving to charitable and philanthropic organizations, we exercise our support for the goals, the people and the purposes we believe in. Giving is our individual response to human needs; it gives our wealth meaning and engages us in shaping a better world. There are many ways to give. This is your guide to finding the choice that is right for you. Planning your giving Worthwhile considerations prior to planning your charitable giving. Ways to Give Key points about eight options for giving. Why do we give A listing of reasons why we choose to give. Read more
FavoriteTo many nonprofits, foundation operations are shrouded in mystery. Because prospective grantees are seeking funding from foundations, there may be a perceived power imbalance. However, building strong and effective relationships with grantees can help foundations develop new knowledge and insights into issues, and to test and scale innovative strategies. Open communication, approachability, sharing lessons learned, and collaborative evaluation are key to developing strong partnerships with grantees. Resources are free or for Council members. Data: Not Another Four Letter Word Grantmaking Application Process Resource Guide: A Grantmaking Primer Tips for Effective Grantee Relations Exiting Responsibly: Best Donor Practices in Ending Field Read more
FavoriteGiving money away is a complicated business, but Putnam Consulting Group has found a few simple questions that can bring a lot of clarity to the process. The questions are straightforward, but they lead to deep issues that can have a profound impact on the way you direct your grantmaking. As you consider your next initiative, take some time to ask these questions.
FavoriteThis article explores what needs to be done in order to ensure that effective grantmaking is grounded in understanding the real costs of operating individual nonprofit organizations. This article was originally published as Pay-What-It-Takes-Philanthropy, published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review in June of 2016.
FavoriteThe Organizational Effectiveness team at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has developed a Resiliency Guide – a framework for assessing organizational resiliency, and a resource for understanding its characteristics. The tool and accompanying resources are designed to be useful to grantees and grantmakers – hopefully facilitating their dialogue about the challenges of operating in a dynamic context. The Guide and related materials draw on the experience of the Foundation’s program staff and external experts, and incorporate feedback and perspectives from a range of grantees and colleagues.
FavoriteThe philanthropy programme at the Hewlett Foundation is changing. Fay Twersky, director of its Effective Philanthropy Group, tells Caroline Hartnell how and why. She talks about Hewlett’s new emphasis on ‘two-way openness’ and collaboration and the need to create incentives to encourage foundations and grantees to be more open. Finally, she offers her views on ‘emergent philanthropy’ and effective altruism.
FavoriteIn philanthropy, tactics are about choices of style and method in making grants or loans. They can be as significant in foundation program design and management as substantive strategic choices. The author describes the tactical pattern of “the Moving Spotlight.” He concludes that tactical principles can provide internal discipline for private foundations. Self-discipline deserves close and explicit attention from foundation trustees, managers, and staff because it is nearly the only kind available to them.
FavoriteDeciding the level of nonprofit research your grant warrants will help you focus on the most important questions and be efficient with your time (and the potential grantee’s). On this webpage are a list of documents that focus on varying degrees of research. Choose the “Light-Touch Approach” for grants that are smaller or less critical, then move to a more intensive approach as your grant warrants.
FavoriteLife cycle analyses tools help determine a nonprofit network’s stage of development and its functional characteristics. The authors suggest that these tools are useful to funders in determining a network’s readiness for funding.