GrantCraft Guide Helps Funders Navigate Grantee Capacity Building

A healthy, well-defined funder-grantee relationship is essential to successful nonprofit capacity building, a new guide published by GrantCraft, a service of Foundation Center, argues.

Based on interviews, focus groups, surveys, and a literature review, the guide, Supporting Grantee Capacity: Strengthening Effectiveness Together (44 pages, PDF), aims to help grantmakers make informed decisions about investing in efforts to improve a grantee's organizational capacity. A survey of two hundred and sixty foundations around the world found that the top five capacity-building areas funders are most likely to support are leadership/staffing, strategic planning, financial management, governance, and fundraising.

To enhance funders' efforts in these areas, the guide tackles a variety of themes, including investment approaches (grants and awards, general operating support, peer-learning networks and communities of practice, and collaborations with funders); appraisal of funding opportunities; funder-grantee power dynamics; and evaluation. Funded by the Open Society Foundations, and with a crosscutting focus on building healthy funder-grantee relationships, the guide offers real-world examples from a diverse group of funders and is supplemented by more than thirty new GrantCraft resources as well as a special IssueLab collection of case studies, white papers, and evaluations published by practitioners and experts in the field.

"'Capacity building' can carry many different meanings, but at its heart it represents an investment aimed at strengthening effectiveness," said GrantCraft director Jen Bokoff. "These resources synthesize insights derived from actual experience and provide a useful framework to help funders who may be just starting on this journey, as well as those looking to assess their investments so far."

"New GrantCraft Guide Helps Funders Navigate Capacity Building." Foundation Center Press Release 02/26/2015.