Centering Equity through Flexible, Reliable Funding
“One of the things that we don’t talk enough about is how philanthropy trains us to be afraid. It trains us to always be in this kind of state of anxiety about whether or not we are going to survive. Reliability allows for some exhale and some clarity on what’s possible. It generates more possibility for the organizations andfor the funders.” – Sage Crump, National Performance Network
Sage Crump, a cultural strategist and longtime nonprofit leader, powerfully exposes how the traditional approach to grantmaking — project-based grants, typically awarded in one-year increments — often works in opposition to the lofty aspirations that grantmakers and their nonprofit and community partners have for catalyzing meaningful social change.
On the other hand, flexible grants, awarded over longer periods of time, can create a more generative ethos for nonprofits and grantmakers alike to achieve their vision for a better world.
Indeed, the benefits of flexible, reliable funding, such as general operating support grants, multiyear grants and funds that cover indirect costs, are well documented. Such funds provide the critical resources nonprofits need to strengthen their organizations and to respond nimbly to evolving community needs. Additionally, flexible, reliable funding creates the space for nonprofits to strengthen organizational infrastructure and focus on longer-term impact rather than short-term survival.
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