Resources

From publications to toolkits, GEO’s resources lift up experiences from your peers to help you turn knowledge into action.

Publication

Learning in Philanthropy: A Guidebook

When grantmakers focus on learning for improvement, we use evaluation and learning to generate information and insights that will help us better understand both how we’re doing in our work and how to improve. A focus on taking action based on what we learn ensures that we are engaged in strategic or applied learning. This publication serves as an orientation for staff and board members highlighting key concepts, how to get started, and how others in the field are thinking about and addressing important issues around learning. This publication provides a solid basis for thinking and talking about the next steps in your organization’s learning work.
  • May 12, 2019

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About 1040 results.

  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Excellent Workforce and Early Childhood Examples - Mid-sized Cities

    Hello all, The Iowa West Foundation annually conducts a board retreat. We use this event as an opportunity to engage our board in seeing examples of what is working in other communities who are addressing problems we are facing locally. The trips have generated great lessons-learned that have influenced our giving in some very positive ways. This year we are looking for mid-sized cities that are doing innovative work addressing early childhood education and workforce development. We would appreciate any recommendations you have as we start to put together a plan.
    • March 30, 2020
    • Bo Dorsey
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Amplifying Discretionary Grants

    Hi GEO Friends, Our board members have made some discretionary grants that have led to interesting lessons and outcomes. For example, one joined forces with a city agency to fund a civic project that gained significant public attention and engaged numerous residents. The grant was so successful that the project was extended and later opened the door to other community engagement projects in that location. What started out as a small grant, had an big impact in a short amount of time and has since led to new partnerships. We have other examples like this. Our board members would like to blog about their experiences. We are aware of the dangers of doing this, of course, and our staff will pull together a list of pros and cons for the board to consider. However, we are wondering if any foundations have done anything to amplify their discretionary giving? If so, how did it go? If you think this is a terrible idea based on experience, I’d love to hear about that as well. I would appreciate your input. Thanks so much.
    • March 27, 2020
    • Bo Dorsey
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Fundraising Question

    Dear Colleagues - The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is a grant making public charity and not a private Foundation. We have a policy to not compete for grants or conduct other fundraising activities that would put us in competition with the vary organizations who may seek funding from us. Our Board has decided to revisit this policy and explore the possibility of conducting its own fundraising activities. Does anyone else have a policy on fundraising or pursuing grants or has explored this within their organizations? And if so, would you be willing to share?
    • March 17, 2020
    • Bo Dorsey
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Alternative methods to final reports

    Dear GEO Fellows! After one year of re-evaluating our approach to grantmaking, we landed on a high touch approach throughout our processes that is built on relationship building, longer term commitments, and a user-friendly process from start to finish. To that end, we want to explore alternative methods to traditional reports. Currently we have built-in a few questions in our portal that enables the grantees to report on outcomes, successes, challenges and allows for some basic narratives. We understand that every foundation captures data differently and a lot of nonprofits end up spending significant time completing reports, so we want to see if there is something better out there. Question: Has anyone tried a different approach aside from asking for a narrative report or something that is quantitative data intensive? Has anyone experimented with video reports submissions or qualitative narrative based blogs or other storytelling methods? I would greatly appreciate if you share your methods if you are doing it differently.
    • March 12, 2020
    • Bo Dorsey
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Information on Settlement Funds

    Good Morning We are seeking information from any Community Foundations who were the recipient of settlement dollars from a community wide, local or national class action law suit that was settled out of court. How did you set up a fund to distribute the settlement dollars? What criteria did you use to distribute the funds? Did you make part of the settlement dollars permanently restricted for future use? Any other information regarding this type of settlement and/or fund creation to benefit the community would also be helpful. Thank you in advance
    • March 12, 2020
    • Bo Dorsey
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Mental Health and Wellness Grants for Nonprofit Staff

    Hello Colleagues, In 2018, the Peery Foundation piloted an offering where we granted up to $35,000 per year (for 1-3 years) to fund mental health services and staff wellbeing programs for grantees providing direct services to youth and families in poverty. While the majority of participants have used the funds to provide individual and group therapy to staff, grantees have also opted to use the funds for the following activities: • Team Retreats • Team Bonding Activities • Psychoeducational workshops for the team • Training: Sexual harassment, DEI, vicarious trauma, etc We're launching the second phase of the pilot this year and looking to learn from and collaborate with our peers and colleagues. Are you trying something similar with your grantees? Do you know of a funder or organization who is leading the way on this work? Please share your recommendations, reports and referrals. We'll be using your responses to inform a field scan as we start an external evaluation of this program. We'd be happy to share more about what we've learned and continue to learn along the way, so please email me directly if you'd like to stay in touch!
    • March 12, 2020
    • Bo Dorsey
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Question about operations ratios

    Hi all - I work with a lean family foundation - we have 6 full time staff and grant anywhere from $7MM to 10MM a year. I am trying to determine a target ratio of operating expenses to grantmaking. Anyone have a target? Is there an "industry" standard anyone can point me to?
    • February 19, 2020
    • Bo Dorsey
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Question about staff directed grants as a staff benefit at foundations

    Hi all, I was wondering if any of you have a staff benefit where employees are able to annually recommend a grant to a nonprofit in your service area? If so, how much are they able to recommend and what’s the process for the opportunity?
    • February 19, 2020
    • Bo Dorsey
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Question about grantee geography tracking and analysis

    Greetings, I am seeking additional information on the geography information that is entered by applicants that are submitting grant proposals. Is there a tool or software that can track and/or analyze entered geography information? Specifically from the data provided by applicants that submit grant proposals?
    • February 19, 2020
    • Bo Dorsey
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Application Period

    Hello all, What is the shortest and longest grant-application period for your organizations? Six weeks from date of application to deadline is the shortest application period for us – however I am looking at running one program application for just five weeks. I thought I would ask this universe of colleagues what your application periods look like.
    • December 11, 2019
    • Bo Dorsey