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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

    The Obstacle is the Path

    Hear from GEO CEO, Marcus Walton, as he reflects on the impact of the circumstances created by COVID-19 on him personally and how the GEO community is even more important during times of uncertainty.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2020
  • Perspective

    Smarter Grantmaking Practices During—and Beyond—COVID-19

    As a community of grantmakers advocating for philanthropy to put nonprofits and communities at the center of our work, we at GEO think the most important questions grantmakers should be asking center around how you can change your practices to be of greater service to your grantees and others serving communities during this time of crisis and beyond. However, these practices are not only needed during times of crisis. We can make permanent changes that shift more power to people working on the ground to strengthen communities.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2020
  • Perspective

    Joint Statement Calling for Increased Giving In This Time of Crisis

    Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. The challenges that we are collectively facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are changing the face of our societies here at home and across the globe. We’re all doing things we never imagined doing, but we’re doing them in the interest of the greater good.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2020
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Amplifying Discretionary Grants

    Hi GEO Friends, Our board members have made some discretionary grants that have led to interesting lessons and outcomes. For example, one joined forces with a city agency to fund a civic project that gained significant public attention and engaged numerous residents. The grant was so successful that the project was extended and later opened the door to other community engagement projects in that location. What started out as a small grant, had an big impact in a short amount of time and has since led to new partnerships. We have other examples like this. Our board members would like to blog about their experiences. We are aware of the dangers of doing this, of course, and our staff will pull together a list of pros and cons for the board to consider. However, we are wondering if any foundations have done anything to amplify their discretionary giving? If so, how did it go? If you think this is a terrible idea based on experience, I’d love to hear about that as well. I would appreciate your input. Thanks so much.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • March 2020
  • Perspective

    A Note from GEO CEO, Marcus Walton, on COVID-19

    The global COVID-19 outbreak being felt here and across the world is forcing philanthropy to reconsider our practices to be more responsive to nonprofits and communities. GEO CEO, Marcus Walton, shares his perspective on the evolving situation.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • March 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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