Deciding to Intervene: When the Foundation Needs the Grantee

Strategic importance of the grant: While every grant is made in the hope that it will make an important difference, some grants are obviously more important than others to the grantmaker’s strategy and therefore warrant more attention. Such was the case for the grantmaker who faced a recalcitrant university dean, who wanted the grantmaker’s money but demonstrated total indifference to the foundation’s goals of increasing faculty diversity. Why tangle with a powerful and stubborn player? Because success with this grant at this college could change the wider field of higher education: “It would give legitimacy and national visibility to the issues and send a signal to other colleges.” Or as another grantmaker concluded: “If this organization went out of business, we’d have to invent it again.”

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from When Projects Flounder.