How Can Grantmakers Better Support Small Organizations

Showcasing the story of Julie Phelps, executive director of CounterPulse, a community-based art and culture space in San Francisco, Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, discusses the importance of nonprofit executives running small, community-based organizations.

In a column in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Buchanan wonders if there aren’t some simple solutions for grant makers seeking to better support such organi­zations.

Buchanan, then, presents the following options...

  • Asked nonprofits about their employee salaries and benefits and took responsibility for helping their grantees reach threshold minimums tied to the cost of living? The rule could be, "If we fund you, we will commit to helping you pay a benchmarked level of total compensation that allows your organization to attract and retain employees."
  • Gave general-support grants to organizations with budgets under $3 million? What if they resolved that for every specific-project grant they gave an organization, they would provide the same amount for general support?
  • Made multiyear support the default, with one-year grants requiring special justification to either the CEO or the board?

Buchanan adds:

Grantmakers can take steps to help people like Phelps be even more successful. Because she and the many other leaders of small, community-based organizations doing vital work across this country — along with their dedicated and able staffs — deserve better.

Read here the piece.

Image: Robbie Sweeny Photography / CounterPulse Facebook