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.
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?
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?
Colleagues - I am writing a brief on different models of foundation funding for policy advocacy, on any topic. I'm reaching out with a couple of questions/invitations. I know of many models (and Alliance for Justice resources), but if anyone is particularly proud of your model of funding policy advocacy, I'd love to try to include it (especially use of the specific project grant rule). Second, would anyone be interested in reviewing the draft (about 3000 words) and giving me feedback?
Have you worked with and/or know of sector consultants that advise on racial equity in investment policies? I’m looking to learn about those with experience advising and facilitating discussion for funders, who have knowledge of the landscape of investment management firms.
Can anyone weigh-in on whether your private foundation tends to make grants to operating foundations? If not, why not (e.g., legal barriers, comfort level, etc.)? If you foundation does make grants to operating foundations, what additional information or requirements do you ask the applicant to provide or meet?
We are introducing a multi-year grant for the first time, specifically a three year grant. We would appreciate hearing back as to best-practices for reporting and/or model for language proposing a multi-year grant to a grantee.
I am seeking guidance on a more equitable policy for Indirect. I am noticing that more and more nonprofits are adding an indirect rate to their grant budgets. It used to be that we only saw this with universities and research entities. When talking to some of our grantees about this rate, I've learned they each calculate the rate differently. Also, when an applicant breaks down what would normally be considered "indirect," we don't add up the expenses to see if they come within our policy. Our current policy is no more than 12% (but again, that's if they title it "indirect.")
Please include your average grant size or grant range in your response.
There is a foundation interested in giving multi year grants for the first time. They are searching for some best practices in how to design and implement this new approach, what budgeting guidelines to use (specifically best ways to decide what percentage of their grant making to allocate for this), and any other insights related to implementing multi year grants in a sustainable and impactful way.