In a recent post, I highlighted a gap between foundations’ narratives about making general operating support accessible to grantees and their actual practices. Here, in the hopes that more people in philanthropy join the conversation, I go over feedback received from colleagues, friends, and practitioners working on both sides of the grantmaking equation. I fully believe that everyone is committed to making philanthropy’s practices more responsive to civil society organizations working on the ground. But I began to worry that the opportunity that opened in 2020 with funders reacting remarkably to the COVID health emergency will soon wane. Through these posts, I want to communicate the sense of urgency to make flexible funding more available while at the same time explore whether presenting various points of view helps to test and push the boundaries of grantmaking.

  1. Project-specific grants are not happenstance but rather part of the system’s design
  2. Foundations are generally bound by strategy and explicit outcomes
  3. More flexibility in foundations’ support primes organizations for new funding sources
  4. Foundations may not see how they might be contributing to organizations’ unsustainability
  5. New forms of collective organizing: fiscally sponsored projects

Read the full article about making general operating support the norm by Liliane Loya at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.