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What We Care About

Flexible, Reliable Funding

When we provide funding that gives nonprofits space to innovate and the security to know our support is here for the long haul, they worry less about their own survival and focus more on responding to shifts in their environment and lifting up their communities.

81 %

of funders report giving some general operating support grants

Flexible, reliable funding, such as general operating support, multiyear grants and funds that cover indirect costs, gives nonprofits the resources to strengthen their organizations, respond to changes in our communities and make real progress.. When we provide funding that gives nonprofits space to innovate and the security to know our support is here for the long haul, they worry less about their own survival and focus more on responding to shifts in their environment and lifting up their communities.

Often, offering flexible, reliable support comes down to really trusting nonprofits. But solving complex issues is hard work — and nonprofits know what they need to reach their goals and support community members. That’s why GEO’s research shows that grantmakers who are more connected to their grantees are more likely to provide the support that nonprofits need to be successful. Making a real difference on some of the most deep-rooted, systemic problems our communities face requires us to give nonprofits the support they need to grow and become stronger for the long-term.

Time is our most precious commodity. There are only so many workable hours in a week. Multiyear support gives a small agency like ours the ability to focus on our programs and what happens for people.

Dave Coplan, executive director, Human Services Center and director, Mon Valley Providers Council

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

    Listening to Beneficiary Needs and Respecting Grantees

    Philanthropy and the nonprofit sector have seen several evolutionary changes over the past decade. Paul Brest and Hal Harvey look at two important developments – listening to the needs of beneficiaries and respecting grantee organizations – in the second edition of Money Well Spent.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2018
  • 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
  • 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
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Alternative Funding Models

    Allegany Franciscan Ministries is interested in utilizing various methods other than traditional grant-making to support communities in our place-based initiative, such as social impact funds, micro-grants/loans, loans (directly or through a CDFI), payments to for-profit entities and consultants to deliver a service such as community outreach and marketing or leadership development, and others. I am both looking for resources and example, AND looking for someone who can present to my board of directors on June 19 as part of a panel, describing an alternative practice from the lens of a foundation.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • May 2018
  • Publication Members Only

    General Operating Support: A Guide for Trustees

    There is overwhelming evidence that general operating support grants can have significant impact on nonprofits and communities. This guide provides an introduction for trustees and boards on general operating support grants. Foundation leaders can use this piece as a way to broach this topic and have candid conversations with their boards.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2018

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Perspectives on Philanthropy

Interesting thoughts and ideas circulating in the GEO community.

  • To break the nonprofit starvation cycle, funders must take the lead.

  • Article Photo

    PEAK Grantmaking

    Project Streamline

    Project Streamline focuses on helping grantmakers get the information they need, while reducing the burden of application and reporting practices on nonprofit grantseekers.

  • Article Photo

    Philanthropy California

    Full Cost Project

    Created by funders for funders, the Full Cost Project explores what it takes for funders to develop new grantmaking practices based on what it really costs to deliver outcomes.

Related Topics

Capacity Building

Grantmakers who put the work in to provide effective capacity-building support help ensure that nonprofits have what they need to deliver on their missions over the long term.

Learn More

Strengthening Relationships

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

Learn More
Rumsha Ahmed

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