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Minding Your Ps and Qs

There is always room—and a need—to keep learning, adapting, and improving. Embrace continual learning People learn in different ways: through formal training, conversation, coaching, reading, doing, and, most often, through a combination of all these. It’s important to develop a learning agenda for yourself and your organization, including the most effective and feasible ways to... Read More

Making Global Grants

“There’s almost no strictly ‘local’ philanthropy anymore,” says Exponent Philanthropy member Betty Curtis of the Atkinson Foundation in California. “As we become aware of how totally and globally our economic, social, and political lives are intertwined, we have the opportunity to design our grantmaking accordingly.” Even modest grants can have significant reach in developing countries.... Read More

Key Elements of a Grantmaking Strategy

What are some key elements of a grantmaking strategy? A mission statement, which is informed by the donor’s intent and objectives A statement of purpose, defined by program interests, geographic focus, grantmaking style A process for accepting, reviewing, and awarding grants A set of guidelines that inform the grantseeking community about what the foundation does... Read More

Funder Collaboratives: A Guide to Successful Partnerships

Whether joining together to voice your support for a cause or to make grants as a pooled fund, funding partnerships have many benefits: They allow you to work on a larger scale—either in dollars, visibility, or other resources—to risk-share, and to leverage your dollars. Funding partnerships also make for deepened relationships with other funders, which,... Read More

General Operating Support: Grantmaking to Support Mission

General operating support is valuable for many reasons. It: Allows grantee organizations to focus on fulfilling their missions and building infrastructure, rather than on tackling peripheral projects and additional fundraising Serves as a vote of confidence for nonprofit leaders, helping to decrease burnout Lessens the inherent power imbalance between grantor and grantee, and shifts the... Read More

Insights Into Innovation

“Innovation is in the eye of the beholder,” says Sandy Herz, director of global partnerships at the Skoll Foundation. “Different foundations see it in different ways.” Convening grantees may be innovative for some foundations, even though others have been doing so for years. Or, another foundation might add program related investments to its grantmaking portfolio,... Read More