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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.

  • Event Materials Members Only

    2018 National Conference Discussion Guide: The GEO Community at 20

    Over the last 20 years, the GEO community has worked to transform a desire for results into real improvements by creating spaces where grantmakers learn together and use that learning to drive concrete changes in the way grantmaking work gets done. As a field, we've made progress. And, as we continue learning together, our understanding of effective philanthropy evolves.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2018
  • Event Materials Members Only

    2018 National Conference Discussion Guide: Creating Space for Systems Change

    Raj Jayadev of Silicon Valley De-Bug shared how De-Bug has been transforming the criminal justice system using a "participatory defense" approach that empowers families and community members to sway the result of court cases. He suggested ways grantmakers can support systems change work led by nonprofits and communities, and how creating space allows for the innovation that's needed to tackle oppressive systems and institutions.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2018
  • Perspective

    Reflections from the 2018 National Conference

    We were so excited to welcome so many thought leaders to GEO’s 2018 National Conference — and that many took the time to share their takeaways after the conference. We’ve collected those posts here.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2018
  • Perspective

    Systems Change and Equity Go Hand-in-Hand

    Complex, systemic challenges require sophisticated, long-term strategies to address them. The same is true for ending structural racism, and philanthropy is starting to get much more real about its obligation to address inequity and racism.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • May 2018
  • Perspective

    Leaning Into Discomfort: A Reflection on GEO's 2018 National Conference

    In this post-2018 National Conference reflection, Ellen Solowey, program officer at Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, discusses acknowledging discomfort and considers how Piper Trust will continue to build on its collaboration and capacity building efforts to achieve transformational change.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • May 2018

Upcoming Events

  • Conferences

    2020 National Conference

    • April 2020
  • Remote Learning and Webinars

    The Golden State Learning Series

    This six-part virtual learning series is designed exclusively for California grantmakers and is offered in partnership by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Philanthropy California.

    • September 2018

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Perspectives on Philanthropy

Interesting thoughts and ideas circulating in the GEO community.

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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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Akilah Massey


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