Shaping Culture Through Key Moments

Shaping Culture Through Key Moments

Successful grantmaking requires not only an effective strategy and execution plan but also an intentional focus on organizational culture, a report from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations finds. The report, Shaping Culture Through Key Moments (56 pages, PDF), found that a truly productive foundation culture is cultivated through buy-in at every level of the organization, with the understanding that changing organizational culture is hard work. Moreover, while there is no one "right" kind of culture, common organizational elements that support nonprofit success include strong internal and external communications, explicit and clearly articulated organizational values, and an emphasis on behaviors such as trust, inclusion, learning, humility, and collaboration. The report also argues that organizational culture isn't created in a vacuum but, instead, is shaped by and transmitted in a foundation's every interaction; and that while culture is constantly evolving, key moments in the life of an organization, including leadership transitions, strategic planning processes, and/or significant changes in a foundation's asset levels, present opportunities to focus on it.