Change Incubator

We’re making a lot of progress as a field — but that progress isn’t always happening as quickly as it should. We aren’t being as effective as we could be, because we aren’t taking the time to include grantees in our decision-making or build the types of relationships that allow for open and honest conversations.

Percentage of grantmakers who solicit feedback from grantees.

For the first time, most grantmakers ask their grantees for feedback. But we know that building open, honest and productive relationships with our grantees takes time and is hard work, but it must be done in order to achieve the most impact within the communities we serve.

Maybe you struggle to develop learning and evaluation approaches that help you learn alongside your grantees, instead of just focusing on accountability. Maybe you find it hard to know how you can help build the capacity of the organizations and communities you support.

Our Solution

Change Incubator Cohort

The first phase of Change Incubator is an intensive, selective cohort program designed to help grantmakers address complex challenges and accelerate the pace of change within their own organizations.

GEO’s Change Incubator helps grantmakers strengthen relationships with their grantees in a way that leads to better impact, because our research shows that grantmakers who are more connected to their grantees are more likely to provide the support that nonprofits need to be successful. GEO members understand this approach, but there are barriers that prevent us from building productive and authentic relationships with grantees.

Created in partnership with leadership development expert Cambridge Leadership Associates, the Change Incubator cohort program supported participants in becoming change agents within their organizations and helped them serve as ambassadors of change across their networks and the field.

Change Incubator Workshop

The second phase of the Change Incubator will be a two and a half day workshop April 11 - 13, 2017, that will help participants address the challenges and barriers that get in the way of authentic grantee inclusion. We’re excited to offer a modified version of our first phase that will go deep in supporting our community in getting to a change that sticks. Join us in Savannah, Georgia, April 11 – 13, 2017 for the Change Incubator Workshop, presented in partnership with the Southeastern Council of Foundations!

The Change Incubator workshop will:
  • Introduce participants to different tools, resources, and frameworks to foster greater grantee inclusion within their organizations
  • Support participants to better understand the barriers that can make incorporating grantee inclusion as a daily practice difficult
  • Equip participants to identify new approaches to engaging grantee partners in more authentic ways
  • Assist participants—no matter their role within their organization—in mapping out potential internal changes that foster greater grantee inclusion
  • Support participants in understanding how and when to engage grantee partners for the best possible outcomes
  • Support participants in sustaining change by offering follow-on support
Workshop Pricing
  • GEO Member rate: $850 for the first registrant and $750 for subsequent staff (grantees and board members included) from the same member organization up to three people.
  • SECF member/non-GEO member rate: $1,050 for the first registrant and $950 for subsequent staff from the same organization up to three people. This does not include access to follow-on coaching.
  • Nonmember rate: $1,400 for the first registrant and $1,300 for subsequent staff from the same member organization up to three people. This does not include access to follow-on coaching.
  • We've assembled a collection of resources on what we've learned about leading change in organizations. Check out our resource library!

  • Explore all of GEO's resources on what it takes to build effective, open and honest relationships with the nonprofits you support.

Emily Wexler

Have questions?

Contact Emily Wexler, GEO's senior manager of programs.

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