The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has released the results of its latest Grantee Perception Report.
Based on a survey of grantees and declined applicants conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy, the report (91 pages, PDF) gave the fund high marks for its understanding of grantee fields and organizations and its overall relationships with grantees. However, its ratings in terms of its impact on grantee organizations dropped unexpectedly, to the 39th percentile, among funders of a similar size, programmatic focus, and/or geography — down significantly from the 75th percentile in its 2010 GPR — even as it received high ratings for its awareness of the challenges grantees are facing and use of resources to help grantees address those challenges.
The third such survey commissioned from CEP by the fund since 2004, the report also found that while grantee ratings with respect to the clarity of RBF's communication of its goals and strategies remained relatively low, at the 29th percentile, ratings of the consistency of the information it provides through different communication channels rose, to the 62nd percentile, up significantly from about the 25th percentile in 2010. Ratings for the helpfulness of the fund's reporting and evaluation process also fell slightly, to the 31st percentile, with non-U.S. grantees estimating that they spend about twice as much time on reporting to the fund as domestic grantees do.
In response to the report's findings, RBF indicated in a press release that it plans to engage more with grantees with respect to their organizational development concerns; modify its reporting requirements to make them more helpful for grantees as well as RBF staff; review its unsolicited application process to ensure that it is truly supportive and responsive; enhance the clarity of its communications; and seek additional opportunities to share best practices and lessons learned.