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Forms of Philanthropic Support: The Centrality of Alignment*

 


Paul Brest

Nonprofit organizations are the core of civil society. Vibrant organizations require unrestricted capital and need excellent leaders with considerable autonomy to develop and implement their plans. But these organizations and their leaders also depend on funders, who have their own passions, goals, and ideas.

How are the interests of donors and nonprofits reconciled in the philanthropic world? Some funders use the power of their purses to resolve the tension in a lopsided way that satisfies their egos but ultimately disserves society. They make small, short-term grants focused on narrowly defined concerns. They require organizations to jump through hoops during the application process, and then micromanage grantees' activities. In fact, unrestricted, general operating support for organizations accounts for only about 19 percent of all foundation grant dollars.1

Concerned with the pervasive undercapitalization of nonprofit organizations, Independent Sector, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and the Nonprofit Finance Fund have strongly advocated that funders provide multi-year, renewable general support.2 At the same time, a small but increasing number of venture philanthropists are providing successful nonprofits the funds necessary to expand.3 Most venture philanthropists support organizations that provide services-education, after-school programs, visits by nurse practitioners. But general support is equally valuable for organizations engaged in research and advocacy, ranging from universities and think tanks to environmental organizations.

For all of the value of general support, however, there are often good reasons to fund specific projects. Proponents of unrestricted support tend to be so single-mindedly focused on its benefits that they forget that it is not an end in itself but rather one of a number of tools of philanthropy, useful for some purposes but not others.

This essay is premised on the belief-or at least the hope-that if funders better understood the rationales for different forms of philanthropic support, they would behave in a more nuanced way. It argues that the appropriate form of funding depends mainly on the alignment of a funder's goals and strategies with the grantee's mission and activities. Alignment is a function of the breadth of a funder's goals and is also affected by the substance of its goals and the time horizons in which it pursues them.

Breadth of Philanthropic Goals

All philanthropy proceeds from a funder's particular passions and values. At the broadest level of goals-so broad that they might be called concerns or interests-there is no tension between funder and grantee, because it is only after the funder has determined its goals that anyone can know who the grantees might be. Funders interested in the environment, or disadvantaged youth, or the arts will have completely different sets of potential grantees from each other. One can criticize a funder's choice of concerns from a social or moral point of view, but these are criticisms external to philanthropy and beyond the realm of funder-grantee relations.

Different funders may address the same general goal more broadly or narrowly and with different time horizons. For example, a funder concerned with homelessness in the United States may focus on a particular community, or on a region, or on the nation as a whole. The funder may wish to provide direct services to address the plight of people living on the streets today or support long-term systemic change to alleviate the poverty that forces them into the streets.

A donor's choice to define his philanthropic goals broadly or narrowly is not fundamentally different from his choice among specific substantive goals. For example, the motivation that leads a donor to support research into a particular form of cancer is not essentially different from his choice to support research for cancer rather than heart disease, or to support education in Cambodia rather than gamelan ensembles in Indonesia.

Even so, one can imagine engaging a donor in a conversation that seeks to help him better understand, and perhaps broaden, his own philanthropic goals. People are sometimes myopic about their goals, focusing on a particular event that triggers interest without connecting it to broader issues. A donor who sees a captivating television show about the plight of the Greater Sage-Grouse may be motivated to protect this particular species rather than broadening his concern to encompass endangered species or the western environment more generally. But at the end of the day, if a donor's passion is directed toward saving the Greater Sage-Grouse, so be it. The same applies to a philanthropist interested in rehabilitating gang members only in Omaha rather than in Nebraska, the Midwest, or throughout the United States.

As we will see, the breadth of a funder's goals strongly determines the form of its support for a nonprofit organization.

Alignment Between Funders and Grantees

There are two essentially different forms of philanthropic funding. When a foundation provides general support-also known as unrestricted or core support-its funds back the grantee's entire mission. Alternatively, a foundation may support specific programs or projects carried out by the organization. Here is a simple example:

  • A funder interested in promoting medical education and research in general might give general operating support to a free-standing research institute or medical school. (A grant to a medical school within a university would not constitute general support, because it would not provide unrestricted support for the institution as a whole-though most universities would be quite pleased to have an unrestricted grant to one of their major schools.)
  • A funder interested in cancer research might provide project support to a cancer center within a medical school or a medical institute, or provide general support to an institution whose sole mission is cancer research.
  • A funder interested in supporting research on a particular form of cancer might provide project support for the work of an identified researcher or her research group in one of these institutions.

General support is the most effective grantmaking tool when an organization's mission is essentially identical with, or contained within, the funder's goals in a field. Clearly, a funder interested in cancer research would greatly dilute its grant by providing general support to a university, which devotes only a tiny fraction of its work to this research. But the funder could achieve its goal through either a project grant or through general support to an institution exclusively devoted to such research.

Virtually as a matter of logic, a funder with broadly defined goals is more likely to find institutions whose missions and activities fit within those goals (and thus are appropriate for general support) than a funder whose goals are narrowly defined. To illustrate this point, let's contrast the Save All Mammals Foundation (Save All) with the Save Marine Mammals Foundation (Save Marine). The large circle in Figure 1 represents the scope of Save All's concerns; the smaller circles represent potential grantee organizations. Those that are fully within Save All's circle are eligible for general support; those that intersect the circle are eligible for project support; and the organization entirely outside the circle would receive no support.

Save All Mammals diagram

 

General Support. To be eligible for Save All's general support, a grantee's mission and (nearly) all its activities must be directed to saving mammals. In this diagram, organizations dedicated to saving various marine mammals, American mammals, and wolves all fit fully within the funder's circle of interest and could receive general support.

Project Support. Organizations whose activities intersect with Save All's interests are eligible for project support. The World Ecological Society works on myriad global environmental problems, including water and air pollution, endangered species, and rainforests. It has a small but excellent staff devoted to protecting whales, and Save All might provide project support for this initiative. Protect Marine Ecosystems is concerned with all marine ecosystems, including those necessary to sustain marine mammals. Depending on how much of the organization's work supports marine mammals' ecosystems, Save All might provide project support, or it might find the alignment close enough to provide general support.

No Support. Assuming that sharks play no significant role in any mammal's ecosystem, Save the Sharks is entirely outside Save All's concerns, and not a candidate for a grant.

Now consider the more narrowly focused Save Marine Mammals Foundation (Figure 2).

Save Marine Mammals

 

Save Marine's circle of interest is smaller, and therefore fewer organizations are likely to fit fully within it and be eligible for general support. For example, Save the Wolves is not eligible; Save American Mammals (which could get unrestricted support from Save All) might now receive only project support for that portion of its work protecting American marine mammals. The World Ecological Society and Protect Marine Ecosystems are still eligible for project support.

Two other considerations may enter into a funder's decision about the right form of support for a grantee. First, although an organization's activities may be fully aligned with a funder's interests, some aspects of the organization's work may be quite strong or cost-effective, while others are weak or relatively costly. In this case, a funder might decide to forego general support and provide project support in the areas of the organization's strength. For example, Save the Whales may effectively conduct research on whale populations, but not have strong advocacy strategies to protect them, while the World Ecological Society may have a very strong advocacy arm. The Save Marine Mammals Foundation might give the former organization project support for its research and the latter, project support for its advocacy.

Second, tax regulations concerning lobbying may affect a funder's form of support. In brief, general support allows a grantee far more leeway to lobby than is permissible under a project grant. If a grantee's advocacy work will be central to a foundation's goals, then general support may be preferable, even if some of the organization's other activities are not fully aligned.

The Hewlett Foundation has many grantees that fit entirely within our circles of interest. For example:

  • The Global Development Program provides general operating support to the Center for Global Development, which conducts relevant research in all of the Program's priority policy areas: aid effectiveness, trade and agriculture policy, and quality education in developing countries.
  • The Environment Program provides general support to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, which protects the lands, waters, and wildlife of the 18 million-acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The organization's efforts and achievements directly relate to the Program's goals of conserving the West's ecological integrity.
  • The Performing Arts Program provides general support to music, theater, and dance organizations throughout the Bay Area, ranging from the San Francisco Symphony to Monterey Jazz; from the Berkeley Repertory Theatre to the California Shakespeare Theater; from Chitresh Das Dance Company to LINES Contemporary Ballet.
  • The Population Program provides general support to the African Population and Health Research Centre, which undertakes policy-relevant research on the impact of population dynamics on development and on the reproductive health needs of African women; and to the Guttmacher Institute, which carries out research and advocacy on a broad range of issues concerning domestic and sub-Saharan African reproductive health and rights.
  • The Education Program provides general support to EdSource, an independent, nonpartisan organization that clarifies complex education issues and promotes greater understanding and thoughtful policy decisions about California's public school system. EdSource's work relates directly to the Program's goal of improving educational outcomes in California.

When the fit is not perfect but alignment is pretty close - when most of an organization's activities fit within our goals - we also tend to provide general support. For example:

  • The Environment Program gives general support to the Bipartisan Policy Center, an umbrella organization that serves a vital policymaking role on a number of energy-environmental issues, such as federal renewable fuels standards and clean energy infrastructure, but that also works on health care and national security issues-issues not within the Program's mission.
  • The Population Program gives general support to the National Women's Law Center, which addresses not only reproductive rights and health issues but also employment and child care.
  • The Education Program provides general support to The Institute for College Access and Success, which conducts research and advocacy designed to improve federal financial aid policy and the delivery of financial aid in California. The Foundation's interest relates to federal education policy generally and to California community colleges specifically. The Institute's work in California also encompasses four-year universities, which are outside our focus area.

In many other cases, the alignment between the Foundation's goals and self-defined programs within a grantee organization leads to unrestricted support for those programs. For example:

  • In its work on western conservation, the Environment Program supports Trout Unlimited's water program, which aims to restore and protect ecologically meaningful streamflows in all the coldwater rivers in headwater states.
  • In its efforts to reduce teen pregnancy in the United States, the Population Program supports New Generation Health Center at the University of California, San Francisco, which provides teen-friendly reproductive clinical care for low-income youth.
  • The Philanthropy Program supports DonorEdge, an online giving platform first developed by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, which informs funders of the activities and outcomes of nonprofit organizations. The Program also provides unrestricted support to the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University.
  • The Global Development Program supports the German Marshall Fund's Economic Policy Program, which promotes cooperation between the United States and Europe on economic development policy and global poverty alleviation. The Program also funds the International Budget Project, led by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which strengthens civil society groups that monitor the allocation of budgetary expenditures in developing countries.
  • In its work to improve educational outcomes in California, the Education Program supports a number of university-based centers, such as the Institute for Democracy, Education, & Access at the University of California, Los Angeles (which focuses on education equity issues), and the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at California State University, Sacramento (which conducts research and analysis on community college policy).
  • Through funds outside its programs, the Foundation supports the China Law Center at Yale University, which works to strengthen criminal and administrative procedures and the rule of law more generally in China.

Although such grants reflect the spirit of general support, they do not meet the IRS definition because they are not made to the organization as a whole, and therefore count as project support.

In yet other situations, we support organizations that play an important role in achieving the Foundation's goals, even though their overall alignment with those goals is quite poor. This is the paradigmatic case for making project grants. The Indian social entrepreneur Sheela Patel has disapprovingly characterized foundations making such grants as "treating organizations . . . as contractors in the delivery of their own visions."4 As I will discuss below, however, this form of support is often mutually advantageous.

Time Horizons of Support

The type of philanthropic support a funder offers and the amount of leeway it gives grantees in other respects correlate significantly with its time horizon for addressing an issue. Shorter-term work, typically characterized as "initiatives" or "projects," usually calls for project support. Achieving longer-term goals generally involves building organizations, which tends to require general support. Perhaps counterintuitively, the long-term goal of building entire fields often requires project support: at least in the earlier stages, institutions dedicated to the new field's mission may not yet exist, and organizations with only a partial overlap of interests are often the best near-term substitute.

It is impossible to say that one of these approaches-supporting short-term initiatives, long-term institution building, or field building-is more socially valuable than another. That depends on one's particular goals and best strategies for achieving them.5

Short-Term Initiatives

For example, the Hewlett Foundation has supported these valuable but relatively short-term initatives:

  • In 2002, we joined a group of other Bay Area foundations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California's Department of Fish and Game to purchase 16,500 acres of salt flats in San Francisco Bay and restore them to wetlands. All of the funding came through project grants.
  • In an initiative called New Constituencies for the Environment, the Foundation has used a mix of forms of support to reduce air pollution in California's San Joaquin Valley. Where we could support and strengthen local organizations focused on this problem, we provided general support. These grants were sometimes supplemented by so-called "organizational effectiveness" or "capacity-building" support to improve a grantee's capacity in strategy, management, board development, or other areas. The initiative also required supporting specific projects, such as contracting for a university economist to conduct a study of the health costs of pollution. We also provided project support to the Latino Issues Forum's Sustainable Development Program. (Because the organization deals with a broad range of issues, general support wouldn't have made sense.)
  • When the California Department of Education recently came under pressure to make its School Accountability Report Card more understandable and useful to parents, the Foundation gave project support to an organization with expertise in presenting complex data to lay audiences. The grantee (for-profit) organization, Grow Network, assisted the Department in redesigning the report and field testing it with parents.

Long-Term Institution Building

A funder concerned with creating strong organizations for the long term will often find general support a useful tool. Much of the Hewlett Foundation's funding is designed to build and strengthen anchor research and policy advocacy organizations in a field. For example:

  • The Philanthropy Program's general support for The Bridgespan Group has helped it grow from a fledgling organization into one of the top nonprofit consulting firms in the United States and a leading producer of research on nonprofits and foundations. Support for the Center for Effective Philanthropy has helped it provide systematic feedback to foundation boards and staff to improve their relations with grantees and overall impact.
  • As part of its commitment to improving energy policy, the Environment Program has supported the Mario Molina Center for Strategic Studies of Energy and the Environment, which addresses key environmental problems in Mexico, and The International Council on Clean Transportation, which advocates for public health and the environment through greater efficiency and reduced pollution by automobiles and transportation systems.
  • In its work to improve educational outcomes in California, the Education Program has provided general support to the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, a think tank dedicated to strengthening teacher development, policy, and practice in California.
  • Through funds independent of the programs, the Foundation has provided matching grants to endow professorships at Stanford University's School of Humanities and Sciences and at the University of California, Berkeley.

Building organizations is the central mission of several emerging venture philanthropy funds, which focus mainly on providing education and other services to disadvantaged communities. Jeff Berndt of New Profit writes:

Many solutions to our country's most entrenched social problems already exist. But many of the social entrepreneurs who have created these innovative solutions lack access to the financial and human resources to grow their enterprises. . . . What's the result of this situation? The nonprofit sector today largely consists of "mom and pop shops"-the vast majority (91%) operates with an annual budget under $1 million. And the social problems we face persist. . . .

Like venture capitalists, we look for leaders and innovations with the potential to create fundamental, widespread change. We then provide financial capital (multi-million dollar growth capital grants over four to six years), access to networks (other funding sources, experts in content areas, policymakers), and necessary strategic assistance (management consulting, portfolio managers) to help each entrepreneur grow their solution to new communities and to drive their own strategy for scale through policy, creating markets, or another widespread change strategy.6

Although venture philanthropists may begin by providing nascent organizations with project support, including organizational effectiveness or capacity-building grants, sustained support usually takes the form of general support, often in the form of growth capital.

Field Building

At first blush, field building seems similar to building organizations-though even more ambitious. Especially in the early stages, however, field building typically requires project, rather than general, support.

The long-term objectives of field building include establishing strong anchor institutions-for example, the Population Council, the Population Reference Bureau, and the ClimateWorks Foundation and its network of regional foundations concerned with climate change. But nascent fields often lack such anchor organizations, and funders must therefore rely on project grants to existing institutions. Indeed, even a mature field like as end-of-life care may be supported by project grants to quite dispersed organizations such as medical and nursing schools and hospitals. Consider these examples from three field-building ventures at the Hewlett Foundation.

Arts Education. Since 2005, the Performing Arts and Education programs have conducted an arts education initiative. The initiative is intended to provide high-quality, sequential, standards-based arts education to California's K-12 students in order to instill a love of the arts, improve learning, and foster creativity. Over the past three years, the Foundation has invested over $7 million in research, advocacy, and support for model arts education programs with the aim of strengthening the infrastructure of arts education in the public school system. Because of the state of the field, all of the grants have supported particular projects.

In 2007, the Hewlett Foundation released SRI International's (project-supported) report, An Unfinished Canvas, which examined the state of arts education in California public schools. Together with follow-up research that pointed to the small quantity and low quality of arts education, the SRI report spurred the Foundation to make grants for advocacy efforts and exemplary in-school arts education programs.

These grants included project support that enabled the California Alliance for Arts Education to develop a network of community advocates across the state, which contributed to an unprecedented annual allocation of state Arts Block Grants. Another project grant allowed the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association to win backing for arts education from influential education leaders and to learn how to provide districts with technical assistance in delivering quality arts education. In collaboration with these organizations, the Foundation was instrumental in supporting the creation of a statewide Arts Education Task Force, composed of education, arts, and policy leaders; its recommendations are in various stages of implementation. A grant to the California State PTA helped it develop a long-range plan to establish a network of "Parents for the Arts" among its million-plus members.

The Foundation has also supported an effort by Americans for the Arts to improve arts education in the United States. And a grant to the National Opinion Research Center supported a study of the role of teaching artists in the arts education infrastructure, in and out of school.7

Open Educational Resources. In 2001, together with the Andrew Mellon Foundation, we gave a series of project support grants to MIT's OpenCourseWare initiative, through which the university makes the teaching materials for all its courses available online without charge. The idea originated with MIT, but-as is typical in good field-building ventures-the project quickly engaged the university and funders in a deep collaboration. This spawned the Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative, aimed at equalizing access to knowledge worldwide through the development and use of openly licensed, digital resources for education.

MIT's initial project eventually led to the OpenCourseWare Consortium, a group of 200 institutions of higher education around the world. More broadly, the Foundation helped create an infrastructure for the new field, along with demonstration projects to illustrate OER's potential. In building the infrastructure, we funded Creative Commons-which provides an open source version of copyright-initially through project support and then through general support. In addition, we are helping several grantees become core organizations in this emerging field: Commonwealth of Learning (with several project support grants), the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management (with project support), Internet Archive (with general support), Rice University's Connexions open publishing platform (initially with project support, then general support) and the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (with both project and general support).

The Foundation is also funding several studies on the use of and demand for OER. For example, we provided project support to the Maine International Center for Digital Education to study teacher practices in using OER in middle schools. We are also giving significant project support to the Open University of the U.K. and Carnegie Mellon University to build a global OER research network.

Finally, we have supported many demonstration projects to illustrate OER's potential. We made a project grant to the University of Michigan to develop OER to support health education in Africa and to encourage African-driven collaboration. We also provide general support to the Fantasy Foundation of Culture and Arts, a worldwide network of 2,800 volunteers translating OER materials for Chinese users.

Quality Education in Developing Countries. For decades, support for elementary and secondary education in developing countries focused on expanding access to schools, without much attention to actual learning outcomes. Starting in 2001, the Hewlett Foundation began to explore how to improve the quality of education with the goal of teaching basic reading, math, and problem-solving skills. This work now takes places in a collaborative initiative with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called Quality Education in Developing Countries (QEDC).

Because QEDC is taking a novel approach, few existing organizations are closely aligned with its goal of quality education. For this reason and because of IRS regulations that govern grantmaking to international organizations without 501(c)(3) status or its equivalent, most QEDC grantmaking has been directed to particular projects.

At the earliest stages of the initiative, we retained consultants to help our staff learn more about the field. The first large grant, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, supported research on the determinants of educational outcomes in developing countries; the work culminated in the book Educating All Children: A Global Agenda. A grant to the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) allowed it to study the impact of eliminating primary school fees for children in Nairobi slums. Since then, APHRC has developed an outstanding Education Research Program. Our support for this effort is project, rather than general, support since it funds only one program within a multifaceted organization. Project grants to the Global Campaign for Education and the Academy for Educational Development's Basic Education Coalition were designed to raise the profile of universal quality education with the public, the media, and policymakers.

QEDC made a project grant to the Aga Khan Foundation USA to develop an instructional model for teaching reading and math to students in the early grades, and then a grant to implement this approach in 200 schools in Kenya and Uganda. We also gave Room to Read a project grant to experiment with a "reading kit" that would help instructors better teach reading to beginning students in Indian schools. (The organization had originally focused on building libraries, only to discover that children were not able to read the books.)

Through Pratham and Prajayatna in India, and l'Institut de l'éducation populaire in Mali, QEDC is helping organizations propagate small scale successes throughout entire education system. To learn what succeeds and what doesn't, these and other QEDC projects undergo external evaluations by organizations such as APHRC, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and Berkeley's Center of Evaluation for Global Action-also supported by project grants.

QEDC has also made project grants to diffuse innovative ideas from one country to another. For example, we supported an East African team's visit to India so it could learn about the implementation of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-a nationwide assessment of literacy and numeracy. Conducted by a nongovernmental organization, ASER has had a galvanizing effect in spurring the Indian government to improve quality education. Based on the African team's observations, QEDC supported the launch of Uwezo ("capabilities" in Swahili), which is conducting the first-ever assessments of student learning in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Although Uwezo began as a project of Hivos, a Dutch NGO with long experience in East Africa, it might eventually become an independent entity that could receive general support.

Assessing General Support Grants

Funders reluctant to provide general support cite the supposed difficulty of evaluating an organization's performance under an unrestricted grant. But this is a mistake. Although a funder that gives general support may not direct or restrict the grantee's activities, it is free to assess an organization's strategies, programs, and theories of change before making the grant; evaluate outcomes during the course of a grant; and decline to renew if the organization is not achieving social impact.

In effect, a general support funder evaluates a grantee's work from the same standpoint as its CEO or board chair. An unrestricted grant provides the funder with an opportunity to help an organization collect and analyze information about outcomes and use that information to improve its performance. For example, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation builds strong evaluation into its general support grants to youth development organizations; the F. B. Heron Foundation, which focuses on asset building in low-income communities, evaluates its general support based on a grantee's planning documents and measures progress against the organization's own ambitions and plans.8

Conclusion

Grantees usually prefer to receive general support because it maximizes their flexibility to use funds as they deem necessary to serve their missions. As we have seen, the more closely a funder's goals and an organization's mission and activities are aligned, the more appropriate this form of funding is.

Where alignment is good and the funder has confidence in the quality of an organization's leadership and work, multiyear, renewable general support grants will serve the interests of everyone involved. There are also cases on the margin, where alignment is good but not great. Given the value of unrestricted funds, there is much to be said for a funder's having a presumption favoring general support.

Whether or not funders choose to approach their grantmaking with this presumption, it is important to understand that forms of philanthropic support are never ends in themselves but only tools-albeit important ones-for achieving social impact. Funders would do well to follow the clichéd adage: the right tool for the right job.

 


* I am grateful for comments on this essay by Ivan Barkhorn, Iris Brest, Eric Brown, Phil Buchanan, Moy Eng, Kathleen Enright, Lauren Finzer, Julie Fry, Nicole Gray, Jacob Harold, Ward Heneveld, Kristi Kimball, Mark Kramer, Vivian Lindermayer, Kari Mah, Erin Majernik, Lawrence Mendenhall, Megan Mermis, Sara Morello, Jon O'Brien, Jennifer Ratay, Dana Schmidt, Sean Stannard-Stockton, Tom Steinbach, Victor Vuchic, and Em Warren. The essay builds on Paul Brest and Hal Harvey, Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy (New York: Bloomberg Press, 2008).
1 Foundation Center, Foundation Giving Trends, 2009 Edition (February 2009). [http://foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge/research/pdf/fgt09highlights.pdf]
2 Independent Sector; Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, GEO 2007 General Operating Support: Action Guide; Nonprofit Finance Fund.
3 Some notable examples include SeaChange Capital Partners, Growth Philanthropy Network, New Profit Inc., and the Draper Richards Foundation.
4 Quoted in Susan Berresford, "The Art of Grantmaking," Stanford Social Innovation Review (Spring 2009): 18.
5 Of course, even short-term projects require organizations that can help solve problems. These organizations often already exist, however, and do not necessarily require general support from a particular funder. In providing project support, a responsible funder has the obligation to "do no harm," which includes both paying adequate overhead and not pressing a grantee to do work that distorts its own mission.
6 Jeff Berndt, "On Investing in Nonprofits," Tactical Philanthropy (February 2009).
7 As of this writing, the national economic crisis and California's own budget problems make this an inauspicious time to press for increased funding of arts education. However, we hope that ongoing support for the arts education infrastructure will allow grantees to sustain their gains to date and resume active campaigns when the nation and state have solved their current fiscal problems.
8 Brest and Harvey, p. 81.