In the fourth Grantee Perception Report it has commissioned since 2004, the fund received high marks for its impact on grantees' fields — including its understanding of, efforts to advance knowledge in, and ability to affect public policy in each field — as well as its impact on grantee organizations, including its understanding of and efforts to advance grantees' strategies and goals. The fund also improved its scores in the reporting and evaluation category, moving up from the 39th percentile in 2012 to the 68th percentile, and in terms of the strength of its relationships with grantees, ranking in the 69th percentile, up from the 64th percentile in 2012.
At the same time, the report ranked the fund lower on individual components of the funder-grantee relationship, including grantee perceptions of fair treatment, staff responsiveness, and ability to approach the fund with a problem. The report also found that grantees who reported receiving comprehensive or field-focused non-monetary assistance rated the fund significantly more positively on most measures than those receiving little or no assistance.
"We learned [the slide in perceptions of responsiveness] was related to how often grantees had contact with their program officer and their desire for more conversations and interaction with their program officer," vice president of programming Sylvia Yee wrote in a letter posted on the fund's website. "We think this finding may be related to the number of 'more than grantmaking' roles our staff play. This feedback is important food for thought as we weigh the tradeoffs necessary to deploy staff time as effectively as possible."