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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.

  • Perspective

    Joint Statement Calling for Increased Giving In This Time of Crisis

    Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. The challenges that we are collectively facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are changing the face of our societies here at home and across the globe. We’re all doing things we never imagined doing, but we’re doing them in the interest of the greater good.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2020
  • Perspective

    A New Role for Funders in Field Building Toward Social Change: Moving from Driving the Car to Filling the Tank

    The Bridgespan Group shares key findings from their new report that examines how funders and practitioners can work together to drive field-level social change.

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

    GeoList Summary: Venture Philanthropy Collaboratives – do you have examples?

    Dear Colleagues, We are working with a group of foundations in Brazil to find best-in-class examples of what many call venture philanthropy, and we want to use as comparators initiatives that include most or all of the following characteristics: 1) tailored financing which includes BOTH grants AND impact investing through debt, equity, or other forms; and hybrid financial instruments; 2) high engagement of funders; 3) long term approach and stable investment over time of AT LEAST 3-4 years; 4) emphasis on strengthening capacity and partnerships to build self-reliance and resilience; 5) organizational support to develop skills, improve structures and processes, etc.; 6) intention and action on measuring and managing outcomes and impact; reflection and adjustment by funders and recipients together; and ideally 7) sharing learnings with the broader community. If you have good examples to share, whether they succeeded or failed in their aims, we would like to include them as cases. Thank you.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2019
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Program Design for Racial Equity Peer Cohorts

    ACT for Alexandria, a community foundation in Alexandria, VA, is developing a capacity building cohort focused on racial equity for nonprofit leaders in our community. We are curious about any of your experiences with similar initiatives.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2019
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Examples of place-based funders collaborating to build capacity?

    We are a small family foundation funding in Dane County, Wisconsin, interested in collaborating more formally with other Dane County funders to elevate the effectiveness of our nonprofit sector. I am looking for examples of other collaborative efforts, namely place-based funders working together to: identify capacity needs, bring and/or develop learning opportunities for nonprofits, and evaluate capacity gains.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • February 2019

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Akilah Massey

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