Grant Funding 2022 – Part One
Grant funding is the backbone for so many nonprofit organizations. To help you strengthen this aspect of your fundraising we reached out for guidance to Dana Textoris, Managing Director at Grants Plus. We asked her about how foundations and corporations are changing their grantmaking and their responses to calls for equity and increased funding for Black-led nonprofits.
For years many nonprofit leaders have aspired to change the terms of their relationships with funders -- to gain more flexibility, less restriction, more trust. During the pandemic, we saw more funders make a shift in that direction. For example, the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) surveyed nonprofits and found that 70% say funders have relaxed their reporting requirements. The good news:many funders plan to keep it that way.
At the start of the pandemic, we saw many foundations allow nonprofit grantees to use their existing grant funds where most needed. Since then, we hear that foundations are demonstrating more willingness to make general operating support (GOS) grants, but we’re not convinced yet -- we submit hundreds of grant proposals every year for our clients, and haven’t seen enough GOS giving yet to believe it’s the new normal.
Our advice is not to wait. Changes in grant making are happening because nonprofit leaders are being more direct and honest about what their organizations need. If your current funders don’t routinely make GOS grants, have a courageous conversation to ask why and explain how this would be powerful for your organization.
Following the murder of George Floyd, there was great energy and attention from funders to invest in organizations confronting racial injustice. Many private and corporate funders across the country launched racial justice rapid response funds.. Unfortunately the data is disappointing on how this intention was born out. In August, The Washington Post released a report that showed that of nearly $50 billion pledged by the nation’s largest corporate philanthropies, only $4.2 billion of that was actually made in grants. The rest was made as loans and investments that may benefit the companies that made them.
This isn’t to say that many foundations haven’t followed through on their promises. Here in Cleveland where I am based, for example, The Cleveland Foundation is beginning a second round of grants in 2022 from its Cleveland Black Futures Fund, to support Black-led and Black-serving organizations.
Finally, grants from Donor Advised Funds (DAF) are on the rise-- this funding grew 27% in 2020 as compared to 2019, according to the National Philanthropic Trust. DAF giving is incredibly dynamic. A new report on DAFs from The Giving Institute shows that the health and racial crises of 2020 influenced DAF donors to increase funding to specific organizations: in the past year, DAF grants to public social benefit organizations doubled and they quadrupled to racial justice organizations and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Dana Textoris is Managing Director at Grants Plus, the nation’s leading grant seeking consulting firm, that has helped nonprofits secure more than $200 million in funding since 2007.
[Copyright 2021 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Let us help you get ready for 2022 and beyond. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.]