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.

  • Member Story

    Smarter Grantmaking in Action: Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

    How listening to the needs of its community inspired a foundation to develop a new capacity building program that supports civic leadership, community collaboration and more equitable outcomes.

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

    GEOList Summary: Nonprofit Report Card/State of the Sector Analysis

    We are in the midst of some annual planning and are curious if any funders have commissioned or conducted a nonprofit report card/state of the sector analysis for their local community, state, or region.

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

    GEOList Summary: Examples of Forward Leaning Work By Intermediaries

    What is the risk position should intermediaries be taking in their respective ecosystems? How far out front on issues of equity, inclusion, and social justice should they be? What are best practices in staying in authentic integrity with the field/movement when they may be playing a resourcing role? Should intermediaries lead the way in diffusing the power dynamics of philanthropy through democratizing decision making and more?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2017
  • Member Story Members Only

    GEOAsks: Janée Woods, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

    In this GEOAsks, Janée Woods, Director of Organizational Culture at WCGMF, talks about what they considered when designing the program.

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

    GEOList Summary: Communications Channels For Reaching Low-Income Families

    We’re researching the communications preferences of low-income families to inform our work and the work of our investees. Have any of you funded marketing research to understand the best strategies and communications channels for reaching low-income families and connecting them to programs?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 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

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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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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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