Effective grantmaking organizations deliberately connect the “how” of grantmaking to strategy and impact. In these organizations, the practices, processes, and systems that get money out the door to support important work in communities are informed, assessed, and strengthened using timely data about grantmaking effectiveness. In these organizations, thoughtful conversations about how to make grants most effectively are everyone’s business: programs, operations, finance, and executive staff work together to analyze and improve grantmaking practice.
“We are not the do-ers, we are the fund-ers. Our role is not to change the world, it is to make grants that help others change the world. So if our unique contribution is grantmaking, how we make grants must be just as strategic, just as focused on outcomes, as anything else we do.” —Mandy Ellerton, Community Innovation Director, Bush Foundation
Today – and even more so, in the future – the role of grants manager is shifting to meet the needs of the 21st century foundation. Grants managers are perfecting the due-diligence, record-keeping, monitoring, and customer service elements of their work while embracing new roles as process specialists, data analysts, relationship experts, troubleshooters, and quality control officers. Many serve on the front lines of organizational learning and strategy. As foundations adapt and expand grants management – while preserving critical aspects of its traditional function – a number of foundations have created successful structures to scaffold this shift.
Download the entire Successful Structures document from the GMN website to find out more about this issue of GMNsight.