Our existing approach to capacity building falls short of the outcomes our grantees need. It’s not working.
The average nonprofit with an operating budget less than $3 million spends roughly $33,000 each year on fundraising, hoping their investment will create the revenue each needs. Not only do 77% of these same nonprofits miss their budgeted revenue goal, most raise less than they did the previous year, and are asking grantmakers - like you - to make up the difference.
Every foundation and donor wants to see its grantees succeed. Our natural inclination is to find a way to help, and often times, we’re funding discretionary requests for training, consultants, software, conferences, and salaries. However, in the end, these disjointed solutions are rarely leveraged as intended and fall short of the types of transformations needed.
As grantmakers, we can either hope, or help, but we really should lead.
As funders, we have a responsibility to our boards, donors, and our communities to ensure the effectiveness of our philanthropy, and ensure we are focused on real outcomes, not just thoughtful outputs.
In our current climate, it seems necessary for grantmaking to transcend existing constructs of due diligence and compliance to include an honest assessment of a grantee’s capacity to sustain, let alone expand and scale, the programs we fund.
In 2017, Network for Good conducted a nationwide study of more than 10,000 nonprofits who had more than twenty percent of their contributed revenue originating from grant funding. We asked them ten questions, including “What is the one thing you need from grantmakers but are afraid to ask for?” The answers were near universal: Fundraising help and technical assistance. While maybe obvious, the study also revealed the answer grant applicants give to the question “How will you sustain the program after the grant period ends?” is, to be generous, aspirational. In most cases, it’s creative writing.
A new model emerged and is being adopted by grantmakers, nationwide, lead by your peers.
Using a collective impact framework, a group of community foundations with a vision to address the systemic challenges of nonprofit capacity building on a coordinated, national level created the Jumpstart Program. The Program, which is managed at scale by Network for Good, provides grantees with the integrated tools, plan, coaching, and technology required to build the fundraising capacity to establish and diversify the contributed revenue required to sustain funded programs.
Already adopted by over one hundred grantmakers in thirty states, nationwide, Jumpstart has created a five-dollar philanthropic return for every one-dollar invested in the program; Grantees are seeing a thirty percent increase in fundraising results, born of acquiring new donors, a higher average gift, an increased rate of donor retention, and board fundraising participation.
What’s more, Network for Good will not only match any grantmaker’s commitment to capacity building when given through the Jumpstart Program, our staff will conduct unique research in your community to validate the aggregate national trends on a local level - the Grantee Needs Assessment.
Accepting The 10% Challenge Grant(maker) Challenge: An overview for your foundation
This week, we’ll be hosting a special town hall-style, live-stream briefing to give foundations on overview of how the program works, beginning with detailed information on how you can leverage the Challenge to stimulate what we call responsible, not responsive, grantmaking.
The learning objectives of the briefing:
1) Understand the collective impact framework that your peers put in place, nationally, to support capacity building
2) Profile the grantmakers who have already accepted the Challenge, including the mechanics of the Challenge
3) Make an internal case for “Responsible Grantmaking” and align your job function to stimulate grantee outcomes, not outputs
4) Share information on potential next steps for your foundation and getting started with the no-cost Grantee Needs Assessment
Join us on Thursday, May 23 at 3:00 p.m. EST for a National Town Hall for Responsible Grantmaking: The 10% Challenge Grant(maker)