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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: Revamping Application Format

    We are interested in revamping our application format and were interested in collecting samples. Does anyone in the GEO community have a blank application they could share as an example?  

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2021
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Grant Programs for Professional Development

    I hope this message finds you well! My name is Maurice L. Speaks and I am the Project and Finance Coordinator for Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE). PACE is currently conducting research on grant programs that are focused on providing nonprofit organizations with funding specifically for professional development. I am reaching out to inquire if anyone is aware of any foundations or other grantmakers that run grant programs specifically focused on providing funding for professional development?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2021
  • Perspective

    Giving While Learning: How Regrantors Enable Every Funder to Advance Racial Equity…Starting Now

    In response to the converging social and public health pandemics last year, people organized, voted, donated, and resisted, all united by the desire to transform reality into a more equitable future. This showed up in philanthropic giving through an unprecedented surge of commitments to funding for racial equity.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2021
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Time Spent in Portfolio

    Hi there - as we plan for next year we are looking at how long we fund the organizations in our portfolio. We don't have any rules about this. A large number of organizations have been in our portfolio for 6 years or more. I am thinking about how to balance long-term commitment with bringing in new partners in a context where I can't increase staff. Would appreciate any examples of how folks manage this. Thanks! Lisa

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • November 2020
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: Learning from Two Decades of Grantee Relationships

    Decision-makers such as elected officials and institutional funders have historically ignored and underinvested in BIPOC communities. Conscientious funders are asking big, long-overdue questions: how do grantmaking policies, practices, and cultures play a role in perpetuating imbalances in power and resource allocation? How can we, as grantmakers, address that?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2020

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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.

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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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Margie Obeng, Program Assistant, GEO

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