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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.

  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Reporting + renewal proposal

    One goal we have is to combine final reports with renewal proposals. Does anyone have examples to share of this sort of combined report/proposal format and how you’ve sequenced deadlines, conversations and due diligence, and renewal grant recommendations?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2018
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: Are Nonprofits Getting the Support They Really Need?

    The Center for Effective Philanthropy conducted a study to discover what support nonprofits need and how funders are currently meeting those needs. This post, which originally appeared on the Center for Effective Philanthropy's website, highlights some key lessons from the research.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2018
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: The Case for General Operating Support

    The Claniel Foundation has shifted to providing 100 percent of its grants for general operating support. This post, which originally appeared on the Center for Effective Philanthropy's website, outlines why they made the shift and the importance of general operating support.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • August 2018
  • 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

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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.

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    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.

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    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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