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What We Care About


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


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

    A Statement of Values to Guide Philanthropic Collaboration

    For the past two years, a number of the leading organizations supporting and facilitating nonprofit and philanthropic collaborations have been coming together to share our experiences and perspectives.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2017
  • Perspective

    From unrest to collaboration

    The biggest win for us in going through these dialogues in and outside of Baltimore was that it allowed us to develop important values on how we wanted to partner with the West Baltimore community.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • August 2017
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: External Advisory Committees Use by Foundations

    If you do use Advisory Committees with external members, what formal and informal approaches do you use? When and how do you use the committees, and what is their role? How do you select the members?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2017
  • Member Story

    Smarter Grantmaking in Action: Vancouver Foundation

    How Vancouver Foundation made progress by getting out of the way and supporting nonprofits to do the work.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2017
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: If and How You Assist Grantees in Identifying Qualified Board Members

    If you have helped grantees to identify and/or recruit board members, please share what you have done and what you have learned. What worked? What didn’t work as you hoped?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2017

Upcoming Events

  • Conferences

    2018 National Conference

    The 2018 National Conference will provide participants with the information, connections and experiences to continue improving and pursuing smarter grantmaking practices that positively impact nonprofit effectiveness.

    • April 2018
  • Member Calls Members Only

    What makes a good intermediary body?

    Intermediaries have served a vital function in supporting social change work. Yet many questions are emerging as to what innovative role intermediaries can play in this current political, economic and philanthropic climate.

    • September 2017

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Perspectives on Philanthropy

Interesting thoughts and ideas circulating in the GEO community.

Related Topics


No matter the outcome we are working toward, our institutions and systems were built to advantage some but not all — and data shows that inequities persist to this day. These inequities become more apparent when we take race into account.

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Strengthening Relationships

When we build trust and tap the knowledge and perspective of nonprofits and the communities we serve, we create better solutions.

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Stephanie Chan


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