What are some best practices resources that have made a major difference in the success of member organizations?

Members named the following as great resources for foundations to have an impact with grantmaking:

Twenty Ways to Make a Difference: Stories from Small Foundations

Beyond dollars, small foundations hold unique assets that benefit your mission, program focus, or community. These include:

  • Deep knowledge of community needs
  • Ability to focus over time
  • Ability to act quickly
  • Reputation as community institutions
  • Creativity and insight of board members and staff

This primer features 20 strategies that draw upon these assets to make a difference with your foundation. Use this primer to expand your portfolio of strategies and leverage your dollars, experience, creativity to support your favorite grantees and fulfill your mission.

Getting to Impact Through Evaluation

Evaluation can be a daunting topic for foundations of all sizes. So why encourage small foundations with already limited time and money to take on evaluation? That’s easy: Evaluation is a key element for foundations that want to increase the impact of their giving.

This primer introduces you to the evaluation process and outlines each step so that you can:

  • Set the stage for evaluation at your foundation.
  • Create a road map for giving so that will help you target an evaluation.
  • Understand the five key steps of evaluation: targeting, asking, tracking, learning, and using.
  • Know where to turn for advice and advice when evaluating your work.

Ultimately, we hope that this primer will give you the information you need start on a road toward even greater impact.

Ramping Up for High-Impact Philanthropy Toolkit

This toolkit is for seasoned donors, donor advised fund holders, foundation trustees, and staff who are taking steps to significantly ramp up the impact of their giving. No longer content with just “making good grants” or “doing good things for the community,”  you have taken a fresh look at your goals, strategies, and outcomes and decided that you could do things differently to achieve even more.

We all know that setting bolder, bigger goals for impact is only step one. Implementing strategies and achieving these goals typically involves a winding path full of experiments, iterations, and obstacles. This toolkit is crafted to help seasoned funders anticipate common obstacles to high-impact philanthropy and learn about effective strategies to overcome them.

Reclaiming Philanthropy’s Role as Changemaker

Two qualities put funders on the road to changemaking: passion for an issue and a curiosity to learn everything they can about it.

Changemaking donors, trustees, staff, and family members focus deeply on an issue and use their unique access and perspective as funders to develop knowledge and understanding. They talk with knowledgeable people in business, government, academia, and the nonprofit sector; they visit and engage practitioners; and they ask questions to figure out how things work and identify obstacles to progress.

See full blog.

Still have questions?

Members can access staff experts through our Q&A service by calling 202-580-6560, or post a question to the member community to hear form peers in the field.

Explore our Q&A archive