There’s little doubt that foundations play an important part in the philanthropic sector. Last year alone, they gave more than $59 billion in charitable gifts. They lead efforts to improve health, education, the environment, diversity, individual communities, how the nonprofit sector works, and more. The sector accomplishes more because of foundations. BUT ...
“If you’ve seen one foundation, you’ve seen one foundation.”
Foundations are idiosyncratic, with different missions, methods, and practices. Although civic society would be worse off if all foundations were alike, foundations’ one-size-fits-one quality makes grantseeking a challenge. This costly, inefficient, and unresponsive grantmaking process blunts the philanthropic sector’s total impact.
GuideStar’s new report, “A Guide to Good Practices in Foundation Operations,” suggests ways foundations can improve this situation:
- Be Transparent to the Public
- Be Rigorous—But Remain Respectful of Your Applicants
- Be Responsive to Your Constituents
- Be Proactive about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We believe that foundations of all shapes and sizes can apply these practices while remaining unique. And we believe that civic society will be more efficient, stronger, and more effective if all foundations adopt them.
Download your free copy of “A Guide to Good Practices in Foundation Operations.”
Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's editorial director.