Working Well with Grantees

Block A: Monday, March 14  |  10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

Learning Track: Effective Practices  |  Level: Intermediate

  • Naomi Orensten, Manager, Assessment and Advisory Services, The Center for Effective Philanthropy

Research from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) shows that grantees perceive funders as making more of an impact on their organizations, their local communities, and their fields when they have stronger relationships with their funders. Relationships matter, and should be at the heart of every grantmaker’s work. Yet a wide gap in perception persists, with many grantmakers believing they have great relationships with grantees, and many grantees reporting mediocre experiences with funders.

In this practical and interactive session, participants will focus on the complex and achievable ways to build excellent relationships with grantees in service of their Foundation’s mission. Participants should expect to learn both from CEP’s research and from each other.

Session participants will:

  • Explore how strong funder-grantee relationships—high-quality interactions and clear, consistent communication—impact the intended outcomes desired by grantors and grantees.
  • ​Understand how research with 50,000+ grantees suggests specific practices that strengthen funder-grantee relationships and consider the execution of those practices at foundations.
  • Interactively reflect on successful & challenging experiences grants managers have with grantees—including hearing case studies of high-performing grantmakers—to inform the development of increasingly effective practices.