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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: Are any community foundations working with local governments to regrant ARP funds?

    Good morning! I’m reaching out to see if there are any community foundations working with their local governments to re-grant ARPA funds to nonprofit organizations in their service area? We have been approached by a county government in our region to manage the distribution of the ARP (American Rescue Plan) funding they have allocated to nonprofit organizations. We could see how this would fit within our purview as the region’s community foundation but have some questions about the financial and legal implications of receiving federal à county funding. Are there any community foundations in this network that have worked with their local governments in general, or more specifically, around ARP funding that could share their experience related to these questions? Thank you!

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2022
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: States/Funders with Funding Priorities Using A Racial Equity Lens

    Hello – we are wondering if any of you know of states and/or funders that have already developed funding priorities using a racial equity lens and/or prioritized communities hardest hit by the pandemic? Thanks! Best Ken

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • March 2022
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Foundation Giving to Rural vs Urban Communities

    We are currently conducting research on foundation giving to rural vs urban communities, and I am reaching out to inquire if anyone is aware of any resources in the past 5 years specifically focused on demonstrating this difference? Thank you,

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • March 2022
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Grant Variance Policy Examples

    Good afternoon, The Frey Foundation is in the process of reviewing our grant variance policies, including but not limited to no-cost extensions, changes of scope, additional/supplemental funding, or budget variances. Does anyone in the GEO community have examples of variance policies that they use within their grantmaking practice that they are willing to share? Regards,

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • February 2022
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Board Directors & decision-making on grants

    Happy (Western Hemisphere) New Year everyone. I would love to hear from the PUBLIC Foundation community. Do you have any high-level language you include in the Terms of Reference for Board Directors that summarises their role in grantmaking decision-making or approvals? We are in the process of updating the role our Board plays in grantmaking decision-making. In parallel, we are working with an external organization to strengthen our capacity on meaningful youth engagement. The end result being a more youth inclusive grantmaking decision-making process. In the meantime (before the meaningful youth engagement piece of work is completed – not for another 7 months or so) we need to update some of our governance documents including BoD terms of reference. Hence, I am just looking for examples of generic language so as to not commit ourselves to anything too specific on grantmaking decision-making/approvals, but it is a HUGE motivator and reason why people want to support our organization and join our Board … so I need to mention something. Thanks everyone.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • January 2022

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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.

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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
Margie Obeng, Program Assistant, GEO

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