Principles for PEAK Grantmaking

Our members serve in a pivotal role that gives them a unique perspective on effective practices for grantmaking.

Our foundational work, Project Streamline, identified that the key barrier to effectiveness in grantmaking was variability—the resource drain that the dizzying range of practice causes for both funders and nonprofits. While the field has made great strides in improving practices over the past 10 years, the need for better practice to produce greater effectiveness remains. 

We are now moving forward to highlight the importance of principled grantmaking practice and are developing, in collaboration with the field, the Principles for PEAK Grantmaking. 

We see great potential in lifting up an ideal set of grantmaking practices that not only help to create agreement but that also align with and advance widely-held philanthropic values. Viewed through a values-based lens, best practice in grantmaking is not about encouraging a cookie-cutter approach or a single “right way” of doing things. Rather, it invites grantmakers to examine their practices in light of how they advance (or perhaps inadvertently thwart) what matters most—grantmaking that is driven by mission and values.  

For practices to be effective, they must focus on activities that substantively improve the grantmaking process. Through work with experts in each of the operating principles and conversations with the field, PEAK Grantmaking is creating the case for – and collaboratively developing – the case for these ideal practices in grantmaking. 

The first draft of the Principles for PEAK Grantmaking are:

  • Be responsible stewards of the resources entrusted to us
  • Streamline grantee requirements
  • Implement equitable practices
  • Take a learning approach to achieving impact
  • Align practices with values

As we learn with our members, we will be sharing our discoveries with the field.


Read More

Putting Our Principles Out Front – blog post by PEAK Grantmaking Board Co-Chairs Satonya Fair and Marc McDonald

Making the Case for Grantmaking Practices that Drive Equity – blog post by Executive Director Michelle Greanias