Organizational change.

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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.

  • Related Materials Members Only

    Conversation Starter: Understanding Incentives

    When certain aspects of the “old” culture seem intractable, even though new expectations have been introduced, the culprit could be that old behaviors are still inadvertently incentivised.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2018
  • Related Materials Members Only

    Conversation Starter: Translating Values into Practice

    Values gain meaning and immediacy when they have a direct connection to policies, practices and behaviors. This piece discusses the importance of translating values into specific, actionable behaviors that can be experienced and noticed so that the organization’s culture reflects those values.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2018
  • Related Materials

    Organizational Culture: Articles and Readings

    This list compiles articles, reports and other readings on each phase of the culture framework.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2018
  • Related Materials Members Only

    Conversation Starter: Seeing and Understanding Culture

    This conversation starter will explore how foundation leaders have made organizational culture more visible to themselves and others.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • July 2018
  • Member Story Members Only

    Smarter Grantmaking in Action: Understanding Culture at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiated a multiyear process to shift its organizational culture. It all started with a deeper look at the current culture, the degree to which it matched the foundation’s values and aspirations, and potential changes to create more alignment.

    • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    • June 2018

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Perspectives on Philanthropy

Interesting thoughts and ideas circulating in the GEO community.

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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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