Organizational change.

What We Care About

Organizational Change

Knowing what works and taking steps to change your work for the better is easier said than done. But real change is possible when our organizations foster innovative and supportive environments where smarter grantmaking practices can thrive.


grantmakers are going through some type of change or transformation over the next two years.

These are places where everyone — from the board and CEO to staff at every level — feel empowered to play a role in the process. And change is most possible when we bring nonprofits and community partners in to help shape our work. Organizations committed to creating lasting change find ways to prepare everyone to advocate for and adopt changes to practice.

As we fully and intentionally commit ourselves to change in pursuit of smarter grantmaking, we can push philanthropy forward to give nonprofits what they need to grow stronger and achieve more. . If more of us adopt smarter grantmaking practices successfully, we will see faster progress on the complex challenges facing our communities.

The complex issues we are all trying to tackle require us to look holistically at all the interconnections, the assumptions that are driving our decisions and strategies, and how we as foundations are either helping solve or actually exacerbating the problems.

Jennifer Martin, founder and principal, Community Change Group

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

    Relationships Are Our Work: 3 Culture Building Practices to Engage Employees

    To retain employees long-term, we need to create cultures where people feel connected to both their work and their colleagues. We embrace “relationships are our work” as a guiding principle and ground our staff and grantee relationships from this perspective. This post shares three ways that foundations can help build a positive and supportive work environment.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2019
  • Perspective

    Transition as an Opportunity for Transformational Change

    Interim CEO J McCray shares an update on GEO's leadership transition and ongoing work.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2019
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Recommendations for Keynote Speaker

    The Scranton Area Community Foundation will be hosting a Learning Conference in the Fall, and we are looking for a keynote speaker. In particular, we are looking for someone to speak on "Becoming a Learning Organization" or similarly related topic.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • February 2019
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Resources and Recommendations on Agile Operating Models

    The Vaccine Delivery team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is exploring what it means to shift to an agile strategy and operating model. We are interested in learning what it means to transform to a team that operates on rapid learning and decision cycles and has the ability to quickly and efficiently revise strategy, structure, processes, and people towards achieving impact while ensuring we remain strong, reliable partners to our grantees and the people around the world to whom we ultimately are in service. Do you know of agile resources, experts, practitioners, or organizations that can help us to be better informed about what agile is (and is not) and help us to understand what is needed to design and implement an agile operating model for our team?

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • January 2019
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Strategic Planning Lessons Learned

    We are venturing into a strategic planning process for a 2 and 5 year internal strategic plan, and we have engaged a consultant to support us in this process. I am curious to hear/read any key lessons learned in the process of strategic planning (we should have done that, wish we didn’t do that, oh my I never thought of that – these kinds of things).

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • December 2018

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Perspectives on Philanthropy

Interesting thoughts and ideas circulating in the GEO community.

Related Topics


Productive grantmaker culture is one that accelerates progress by supporting nonprofits to be successful.

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No matter the outcome we are working toward, our institutions and systems were built to advantage some but not all — and data shows that inequities persist to this day. These inequities become more apparent when we take race into account.

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Akilah Massey


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