The call for foundations to provide more core operating support is a common and needed refrain from nonprofits and philanthropy-serving organizations like the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO). The drumbeat is getting louder as more foundations are announcing that they are embracing this approach. But across the field, change in practice is not keeping pace with change in attitude, as CEP’s research finds.
Until recently, little practical documentation had existed about how foundations can go about providing core operating support, and what those funders that do provide this support have learned in their journeys. CEP’s new study on multiyear general operating support, and in particular its accompanying guide with action steps for funders looking to provide more of this type of support, are much needed additions to the field. Another resource I’m excited about is Wind in the Sails: Grant Making for General Operating Support at The Atlantic Philanthropies (1982-2016), a case study that looks under the hood of how The Atlantic Philanthropies approached making core operating grants before closing its doors this year.
Throughout its almost four decades of giving totaling $8 billion, Atlantic made nearly half of its grants with considerable general operating support contributions. Indeed, providing such support to organizations and people was a fundamental approach in the foundation’s strategy for reaching its goals.
Read the full article about giving core support by Susan Parker at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.