Though most large foundations believe it is important to provide grantees assistance beyond grantmaking, they know little about which types of assistance have the greatest impact, says a report by the Center for Effective Philanthropy.
More than eight in 10 foundation CEOs say alternative types of assistance, including management advice and financial-planning services, are crucial for achieving the goals of both the foundation and grantee, says the report, “More than Money: Making a Difference with Assistance Beyond the Grant.”
However, only a third of foundation staff members say they always follow up with grantees to determine the impact of such assistance.
The majority of grantees do not receive assistance beyond grants, the report says.
Of the more than four in 10 grantees that do, most receive only two or three types of assistance.
Real impact requires a deeper commitment, usually consisting of a wide variety of assistance activities, the study says.
Grantees receiving many different types of help tend to rate their funders more positively and report greater effectiveness.
And despite their lack of knowledge about impact, three in four foundation CEOs say the assistance they have given beyond grants has improved trust and collaboration with their grantees.
Because of the significant investment required, foundations that provide assistance beyond grantmaking tend to manage fewer active grants and give larger grants.
And newer foundations tend to provide assistance to more of their grantees than do older foundations.