More than Money: Making a Difference with Assistance Beyond the Grant

Publication date: 
December, 2008

Most of foundations’ efforts to contribute ‘beyond the money’ has little beneficial impact on grantees. More than Money: Making a Difference with Assistance Beyond the Grant reveals that only when foundation staff provide assistance beyond the grant in one of two ways do grantees report a substantially more positive experience with their funders. Three exemplary foundations are profiled: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Winter Park Health Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation.

Strikingly little is known about the assistance beyond the grant that foundation program staff and the consultants they retain provide – or about the impact of these efforts. A number of consultants and academicians have offered conceptual frameworks, theoretical models, definitions, terminology, and approaches that might be useful to foundation leaders. But there is little knowledge about what works and what doesn’t that is based on, or even informed by, the perspectives of grantees receiving such assistance. What is missing is data about what is happening today and what actually works when it comes to providing assistance beyond the grant.

To help fill that void, this research examines the following questions:

  • What are the attitudes and behaviors of foundation CEOs and program staff regarding the provision of assistance beyond the grant?
  • What types of assistance are grantees receiving?
  • How do grantees view this assistance – and under what conditions do they report that their organizations or programs have been strengthened?
  • How can foundations most effectively approach assistance beyond the grant?
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