Grantee Selection: Decision Making

  • Create a standardized assessment system. A standardized system to assess and rank applicants can help make the selection process objective and nondiscriminatory. It ensures that the same criteria are used by all readers and across stages of the application process.
  • Partner with outside agencies and individuals. Scholars, business or community leaders, and others with relevant expertise can participate as readers or panelists. Many foundations also enlist past grantees as reviewers, interviewers, or to publicize the grant. Working with past grantees — who have first-hand knowledge of the foundation and may be eager to help out.
  • Select panelists and assemble panels thoughtfully. A local arts funder is careful to include artists from outside the region, which “makes the selection more objective and helps counter the fear oftentimes expressed that you need to know someone on a selection panel to be chosen — which is not the case.”

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 Grants to Individuals.