Photo of two people writing

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

    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
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: How to Discuss Merger Exploration with Grantees

    In the COVID-19 world, funders may increasingly find themselves in discussions with nonprofit partners about merger exploration as a potential way to ensure that mission and organizational needs continue to be met. We are seeing an upswell of interest and are encouraged by the sector’s willingness to provide funding for sustained collaboration efforts.

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

    GEOList Summary: Faith-based funding guidelines?

    The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) is interested in best or promising practices, or guidelines/policy that work for your foundation around funding faith-based programming/organizations that provide health and social services in the community. We are interested to know if you impose any restrictions on the use of funding for any types of faith activities and whether you require that the health and human service programs provided by faith-based entities serve ALL residents regardless of their faith, gender identification and/or sexual orientation. Thank you in advance.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2020
  • Perspective

    Cross-post: To turn a corner, trust social entrepreneurs

    In this cross-post Ashoka argues the case for funding social entrepreneur-led organizations with flexible or unrestricted grants.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • May 2020
  • 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

Discover More

I’m looking for
on this topic
Show me all resources for this topic

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.

  • Article Photo

    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

Questions?

Speak directly to our Program Associate

Reach out

Join the GEO Community

500+ members sharing insights and learnings to move philanthropy forward.