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.

  • Publication

    Reevaluating Practice: Reimagining Philanthropy

    This report is a final offering to philanthropy from the Hazen Foundation and its nonprofit partners. The report includes grantee recommendations for funder partnerships that advance a more effective and sustainable movement for social justice.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • April 2024
  • Perspective

    Living Into Shared Ways of Being that Advance Equity

    Share GEO’s ways of being with the broader GEO community to highlight the work GEO is doing to advance equity internally

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • March 2024
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Seeking examples of foundations who are shifting their own governance practices

    Are you a foundation trustee or a staff leader working with a foundation/grantmaker board that is intentionally exploring and/or making changes to governance practices to make your board more equitable, meaningful and valuable? If you have been thinking about and experimenting with better/alternative/equitable board governance, GEO would like to hear your story. Please reach out to Meghan Duffy ( to share the kinds of changes you are making, regardless of how far along you are in the process and if your work has gone well or been more challenging. GEO will host an initial conversation during the National Conference (May 20-22 in Los Angeles) and will be convening additional learning and sharing within our community throughout the next few years. We’re excited to surface more concrete examples of grantmaker boards who are trying to operate differently to meet the needs of their missions and align with their values. Thank you! Meghan

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • March 2024
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Foundations with nonhierarchical or shared leadership structures?

    Posting on behalf of an anonymous GEO member: “I'm interested in learning about and/or connecting with GRANTMAKERS (specifically; not nonprofits) who have gone down the path of a non-hierarchical or shared leadership model of management structure. I would love to hear about and learn from other foundations who are structured this way without a singular President/Executive Director or experimenting with other forms. Can you direct me to anyone who can offer advice or experience? Thank you in advance.”

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2023
  • GEOList Members Only

    GEOList Summary: Organization Design- Recommended Consultants and Processes

    Dear GEO Community, Our Foundation is currently in the implementation phase of a new strategic plan, which includes re-designing our organization to match our strategy. To assist us in this important phase of our development we are in the process of identifying potential consultants. Ideally, it would be most effective to engage a consultant/consulting firm that provides expertise in a number of areas including structure, process, and culture. Any insight, recommendations, and/or referrals you may be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Curtis

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • September 2023

Upcoming Events

  • Peer Learning Members Only

    Change Leaders in Philanthropy Fellowship Closing Retreat

    The Change Leaders in Philanthropy Fellowship is an 11-month peer cohort program for senior leaders who are responsible for shepherding key change efforts within their grantmaking institutions.

    • September 2024
  • Peer Learning Members Only

    Change Leaders Community Quarterly Call

    Quarterly virtual call for current and former Change Leaders in Philanthropy Fellows.

    • September 2024
  • Workshops

    Workshop: Exploring Culture to Effectively Reach Your Mission

    Grantmakers for Effective Organizations together with North Carolina Network of Grantmakers hosts a full day culture workshop designed for mid- to senior-level leaders who are at the early stages of centering equity within their organizational culture or those who are looking to shift their organizational culture to center equity to better support their values, mission and goals.

    • October 2024

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.

Related Topics


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

Learn More


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.

Learn More
Akilah Massey


Speak directly to our Vice President of Programs

Reach out

Join the GEO Community

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