Working with Grantees

To 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.

In-Depth knowledge on Working with Grantees

The grantmaking application process is a big lift for foundations and nonprofits, alike. This primer takes a look at streamlining the application process from RFP to grant agreement. Found in the guide is a how to on creating RFPs, questions to ask during the grant application review, sample acceptance letter, sample declination letter, and a sample grant agreement. Highlighted here, you will also find an innovative example a group of funders from New Mexico (SHARE New Mexico) took in reevaluating their long standing grantmaking application process and the steps they took in creating and implementing a common application. Finally, we invite you to explore the resources and tools available through GMN's Project Streamline initiative, an effort to assist funders in right-sizing application and reporting requirements, reducing the burden on grantseekers, and seeking feedback to improve grantmaking practices.

This checklist for developing effective grantee relations was prepared by Jane Kendall, president of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits and a trustee of the Kathleen Price Bryan Family Fund.

Exiting fields is a common practice in the philanthropic sector. It is often spurred by foundations’ continuous quest for innovation, new leadership, or a decline in assets. However, this practice is often performed with little advance notice, unclear rationales, and no consistent best practices. Exiting a field responsibly is essential to achieving the compelling and far-reaching goals that foundations set for themselves, so how can they help strengthen and sustain fields when their support ends? Consultant Janice Petrovich discussed effective practices in this important area.

From GEO, what does it mean to truly and authentically engage a community in evaluation? Grantmakers working on place-based grantmaking already have the incentive and drive to support in-depth evaluation, to understand the impact of the initiative, and to identify opportunities to improve their work. Effective evaluation of these complex and multi-faceted efforts is grounded in the perspectives of community stakeholders.

With the majority of companies today having at least one formal domestic volunteerism program, employee involvement is a topic of increasing relevance to the corporate world. Companies are realizing that volunteerism is not necessarily an ancillary strategy, but rather one that can be aligned with their core business and differentiate them in both the marketplace and the workplace. This Employee Volunteerism Solutions Brief examines what makes a successful employee volunteer program for companies at all stages of the process— Starting from Scratch, Building off the Basics, and Going from Good to Great. It provides practical solutions and tips to help you be more effective in your work.