Members discuss smarter grantmaking practices.

What We Care About


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.

GEO has made a commitment to focus on racial equity in grantmaking with the intention of including other dimensions, such as ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation and disabilities as we move further along in this work.

The ultimate goal of grantmaking is to help nonprofits grow stronger to make faster progress on complex issues within our communities. To achieve our vision for individuals and communities, grantmakers must work to address the historic, emerging, dynamic and collective forces at work to suppress racial justice. We as grantmakers inherently do our work from a position of privilege. Actively working to responsibly use our position of privilege to address inequity is the bedrock of effective grantmaking.

We can all find more ways to close the gap between our aspirations and our daily actions. To that end, GEO is creating spaces for these conversations, highlighting resources and stories from those who are already making great strides, and incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of our work.

As a predominantly white organization working in a predominantly white field, GEO has made a commitment to learning and improving internally to better support our members and the field. Steps taken so far include all-staff participation in ABFE’s Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities training, establishing an internal vision and goals for our organization, the formation of an internal working group to guide and support our work, hiring a senior advisor on racial equity to bring additional capacity and expertise, and prioritizing relationship building with colleague organizations who have long been providing leadership on racial equity for the field of philanthropy.

You don’t do equity, you be equity, and at every moment you have an opportunity to choose equity.

Raquel Gutierrez, director, strategic learning and practice, Vitalyst Health 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: Grant Approval Thresholds

    Hello Colleagues, We are in the process of evaluating our grant thresholds for what our President/CEO and program staff can approve and what grant requests go before our grants committee. Can you please share what amounts (grants under a certain dollar amount) you are able to approve through staff? Looking forward to learning from you!

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2020
  • Perspective

    Philanthropy’s Racial Funding Gap is an Urgent Crisis

    The demand for racial justice erupting across a nation ravaged by a pandemic disproportionately impacting communities of color is a call to action: the time for grantmakers to invest in Black leaders and Black-led organizations in America is now.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2020
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: We Need to End Structural Racism and Inequities. How can Data and Evidence Help?

    In this cross-post, Project Evident discusses how data and evidence can help us work to end racism and inequality.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2020
  • Perspective

    Hope is Not a Strategy for Change

    Hear from GEO CEO, Marcus Walton, as he reflects on how hope alone is not a sufficient strategy for change to effectively prevent future racial atrocities and offers thoughts on what a responsive philanthropic strategy must involve.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2020
  • Perspective

    The Obstacle is the Path

    Hear from GEO CEO, Marcus Walton, as he reflects on the impact of the circumstances created by COVID-19 on him personally and how the GEO community is even more important during times of uncertainty.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2020

Upcoming Events

  • Remote Learning and Webinars

    2020 and Beyond: Can funders maintain their new grantmaking practices to scale impact

    Join Heather Grady, Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, for an interactive discussion with Kathy Reich from the Ford Foundation and Suzana Grego of the Skoll Foundation. Together, we will explore how funders have changed their grantmaking practices, and how to maintain and further improve upon them, to further their organizational missions in the months and years ahead.

    • December 2020
  • GEO in the Field

    NCNG Funder Call: Putting Values Into Action with GEO’s Marcus Walton

    Join North Carolina Network of Grantmakers for a call with Marcus Walton, President & CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, to discuss how these changes, made in a time of crisis, can continue to support a more equitable philanthropic sector and thriving nonprofit community over the long term.

    • December 2020
  • Remote Learning and Webinars

    Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

    Equity in the Center (EiC) will host monthly open enrollment working sessions on its "Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture" research.

    • December 2020

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Perspectives on Philanthropy

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

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Productive grantmaker culture is one that accelerates progress by supporting nonprofits to be successful.

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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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Suprotik Stotz-Ghosh


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