General Operating Support: Grantmaking to Support Mission

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General operating support, or “gen op,” are grants made to support a nonprofit’s mission rather than specific projects or programs. This grantmaking strategy also is known as unrestricted or core support because it allows the grantee to use the funds to strengthen the organization or further its charitable purpose as it sees fit, whether for salaries and overhead, or to expand a program, invest in technology, or engage in further fundraising efforts.

Philanthropists working with few or no staff are uniquely positioned to offer general operating support because they often are familiar with the communities in which they fund and the leaders of grantee organizations.

This article, designed for grantmakers working with few or no staff, provides a quick overview of gen op, action items to get you started, and thoughts from Exponent Philanthropy members already using this grantmaking strategy.

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