A few months ago, GMN started talking with our friends at the Foundation Center and IssueLab about the topic of intermediaries, or regranters. We were interested in who uses these facilitators and how, and what impact intermediaries might have on effective grantmaking practices. The folks at IssueLab set out on a thorough review of all the literature available that mentioned intermediaries, and GMN convened a roundtable discussion about the topic at a recent conference hosted by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.
What we came away with were more questions, some answers, and some new paths of discovery that interest us.
As the collection, now available on IssueLab, notes, there are both promises and pitfalls to working with intermediaries:
- Intermediaries may enable a grantmaker to expand its capacity, but make it difficult to measure impact.
- Regranters certainly help provide expertise in specific geographies or cultures, but there may be challenges coordinating action and lessons learned.
- These entities offer a unique independent perspective, but less money may go to the end beneficiary.
These are just some of the themes we’ve noticed, and you’ll see more in the materials gathered for the IssueLab collection.
What questions–or answers–do you have about working with intermediaries? Stay tuned for more on this topic, as we dig deeper.