A foundation sought to re-orient its funding approach to supporting the core of its grantees. There were strong signals from the grantee which funding approach it wanted to utilize, but the foundation wanted to fully understand how each of the available options could affect the grantee over the long-term.
We conducted research and interviewed three dozen relevant actors over several months, in the process identifying over a dozen different funding mechanisms that grantmakers use to support the core of their grantees.
We helped the foundation learn more about the different funding mechanisms at their disposal, while simultaneously drawing insights from our in-depth interviews in order to develop a strategy of which options could work best in each situation.
We also delivered two workshops on the subject of core support and the provision of non-financial resources. From these interactive, deep-dive sessions, we further refined our findings and were able to design a tool to help other grantmakers in their journeys to strengthen the core of their grantees.
What We Learned
In the process of speaking with so many foundations about their approaches to supporting the core of their grantees, we found that many grantmakers were aware of “better” ways that they could be engaging with their grantees but were not doing so. “Best practices” mean very little if they’re not directly applicable to where you are right now as a grantmaker. These conversations reminded us that philanthropy is a journey down a road that has to be traveled one step at a time.