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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: Indirect Rate

    I am seeking guidance on a more equitable policy for Indirect. I am noticing that more and more nonprofits are adding an indirect rate to their grant budgets. It used to be that we only saw this with universities and research entities. When talking to some of our grantees about this rate, I've learned they each calculate the rate differently. Also, when an applicant breaks down what would normally be considered "indirect," we don't add up the expenses to see if they come within our policy. Our current policy is no more than 12% (but again, that's if they title it "indirect.") Please include your average grant size or grant range in your response.

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

    GEOList: Long-term Investing

    We are actively reviewing the benchmark established for our long-term investment portfolio. Would you be willing to share your long-term asset allocation and the corresponding benchmark used?

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

    GEOList Summary: Multi Year Support

    There is a foundation interested in giving multi year grants for the first time. They are searching for some best practices in how to design and implement this new approach, what budgeting guidelines to use (specifically best ways to decide what percentage of their grant making to allocate for this), and any other insights related to implementing multi year grants in a sustainable and impactful way.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • October 2018
  • 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

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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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Rumsha Ahmed


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