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PEAK Grantmaking

Revisit Reporting

About this issue

When it comes down to actual practice, does our design and use of reporting match our intentions?

As our field’s first (and sometimes only) opportunity to explore the space between our aims and our impact, grant reports can be a critical part of the conversation between a grantmaker and its nonprofit partners, its peers, and the public. In this issue, we explore the connections, lessons, and relationships that grant reporting could and should be making; how to make changes that benefit grantmaker and grantee both; and other ways that reporting can improve results, plus original research, a curated list of resources, and more.

What's Inside

Missed Opportunities to Build Trust and Strengthen Relationships with Grant Partners

The arrival of a new year often spurs us to reflect on our past behaviors and think about what we may want to do differently in the future.

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Turn and Face the Ch-ch-ch-anges

“This survey has gotten me to think about ways that I can improve our reporting templates. Rather than vaguely asking grantees to report on their progress toward their research aims, I think that I could improve our reporting templates by asking more directed questions…”

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Reporting Through Conversation – Building Trust and Relationships

John Esterle is the Co-Director of The Whitman Institute. We spoke with John about The Whitman Institute’s reporting practices, which are informed by and aligned with their philosophy of Trust-based Grantmaking.

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Customized Reporting: One Size Does Not Fit All

Interview with Kelly Doffing, Program Officer. Kelly Doffing is a Program Officer with the Arabic Language and Arab Culture Program at Qatar Foundation International.

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Foundation Learning and Respect for Grantees – You Can Have Both!

The Thomas and Jeanne Elmezzi Private Foundation is guided by the core proposition of the American Dream‚ that anyone, given the right tools and support, can live up to their potential and succeed. It is a legacy established by Thomas and Jeanne Elmezzi that honors their vision of providing opportunities through education, youth development, medical research, and support for the elderly, with an emphasis on individuals and families in the Long Island City/Astoria area.

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Shifting Focus: From Grant Reporting to Grant Learning

Deaconess Foundation is a private foundation with a mission to provide resources to increase the ability of individuals in Cuyahoga County with the least wealth and opportunity to prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment.

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The Onus is On Us: Reporting Through Documented Site Visits

The New York Foundation is a steadfast supporter of community organizing and advocacy in New York City. The Foundation believes that the resilience and vitality of its neighborhoods is the city’s greatest resource.

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Support Nonprofit Effectiveness by Sharing What You Learn

Throughout our strategic planning process in 2017, GEO met with dozens of nonprofits and grantmakers, and also convened a Nonprofit Advisory Council, made up of 14 nonprofit leaders from around the country. Throughout all these conversations, GEO learned in greater detail what it takes to be effective on the ground and in communities and was able to prioritize work that supports nonprofits.

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A Better Way: Recommendations for Better Reporting

What if we told you that one of philanthropy’s most ubiquitous practices is nearly always a burden to nonprofits and a disappointment to funders?

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From the Shelf to the Field: Reporting as a Strategic Communications Opportunity

When viewed amidst an Excel spreadsheet or Word table timeline, funder reporting often appears as a dry, lifeless line of text—a required milepost to acknowledge, but hardly anticipate. While a necessary component of a funder-grantee relationship, reporting typically engenders about as much excitement as a cupful of cod liver oil. Just hold your nose for a few seconds (or in this case, a few months or more), swallow, and it will be over.

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Grant Reporting: The Current State of Practice

Grant reports are a fact of life for funders and nonprofits. Generally structured as written narratives and detailed financial information, they serve variously as an accountability mechanism, a trigger for the release of the next round of funding, a way to document past activity, and a source of data and stories.

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Revisit Reporting

By now, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that PEAK Grantmaking and its Project Streamline initiative is focusing on grant reporting. We are very pleased to be the co-editors for PEAK Insight Journal’s Winter issue, which will be devoted to this topic.

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Reporting Resources

A roundup of resources to help build your
knowledge and skills in reporting.

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