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What We Care About

Collaboration

No organization has the resources to address the complex issues facing our communities. Working together gives us an opportunity to create real change.

80%

of grantmakers believe it is important to coordinate resources and actions with other funders

Collaboration takes place in many forms (like networks, movements, collective impact) and in many funding possibilities (such as co-funding or pooled funds). But regardless of the specific details, one thing is always true — if we want to go far, we have to go together.

Collaboration requires everyone to be honest, trusting and humble. It means being open about what our strengths are as well as what knowledge and expertise our partners bring to the table. And once we understand what role we should play, solving complex challenges together becomes possible. Funding collaboration successfully and being productive partners requires that we do the hard work to set ourselves up for success. But doing so means we’re able to make faster progress on the issues we care about most.

For us, collaboration is about joining with others to try to move the needle, whether on issues such as improving the social, emotional and physical well-being of our youth or ensuring that more kids graduate and go to college.

Cheryl Walker, board chair of the Deaconess Foundation

Helpful Tools and Resources

Stay informed of the emerging trends and promising practices from the field of philanthropy through GEO’s publications and research.

  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Time Spent in Portfolio

    Hi there - as we plan for next year we are looking at how long we fund the organizations in our portfolio. We don't have any rules about this. A large number of organizations have been in our portfolio for 6 years or more. I am thinking about how to balance long-term commitment with bringing in new partners in a context where I can't increase staff. Would appreciate any examples of how folks manage this. Thanks! Lisa

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2020
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Grantmaking at Milestones

    Hello Colleagues, Our Foundation is preparing to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and great work is already underway! I’m reaching out to ask about your experiences with celebratory grantmaking – special programs or projects that you launched, particular grants (any specific sizes, focus, etc.) that were awarded, and/or new priorities that were identified in partnership with a celebratory milestone -- Looking forward to learning from you and your experience! Wishes of health to all!

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2020
  • Perspective

    Unmuted: What Works (and Doesn’t) When Working Together Online

    Andy Goodman unpacks the challenges of working remotely, asking what works, what doesn’t and reflecting on how we can all do better when working together online.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2020
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: Learning from Two Decades of Grantee Relationships

    Decision-makers such as elected officials and institutional funders have historically ignored and underinvested in BIPOC communities. Conscientious funders are asking big, long-overdue questions: how do grantmaking policies, practices, and cultures play a role in perpetuating imbalances in power and resource allocation? How can we, as grantmakers, address that?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2020
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: How to Discuss Merger Exploration with Grantees

    In the COVID-19 world, funders may increasingly find themselves in discussions with nonprofit partners about merger exploration as a potential way to ensure that mission and organizational needs continue to be met. We are seeing an upswell of interest and are encouraged by the sector’s willingness to provide funding for sustained collaboration efforts.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2020

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Akilah Massey

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