General operating support (also known as gen op, unrestricted or core support) refers to a type of grant that helps support a nonprofit’s mission, rather than specific projects or programs. Grantees may use funds to strengthen the organization, or further its charitable purpose as they see fit. This can include salaries and overhead, expanding a program, investing in technology, or furthering fundraising efforts.

Philanthropists working with few or no staff are uniquely positioned to offer general operating support. They tend to be very familiar with the communities where they fund and they often have deep relationships with nonprofit leaders.

General operating support is valuable for many reasons. It:

  • Allows grantee organizations to focus on fulfilling their missions and building infrastructure, rather than on tackling peripheral projects and additional fundraising
  • Serves as a vote of confidence for nonprofit leaders, helping to decrease burnout
  • Lessens the inherent power imbalance between grantor and grantee, and shifts the conversation toward the outcomes of the grant and overall impact of the organization

Read the full article about general operating support at Exponent Philanthropy.