Helping Grantees Find New Funding: Matchmaking

The trickiest interaction is the one in which a grantmaker tries to make a match between a particular grantee and a particular funder. One foundation CEO characterized the process as “subtle, often indirect, and slow. It requires patience and creative thinking about prospective matches between funders and grantees.” Specific strategies she and her staff have used include “phone calls to key staff” at other foundations, “directly asking other funders to join us in funding special opportunities, providing references for grantees, and making suggestions to grantees about prospective sources of funding.”

Stepping down the amount of an organization’s annual grant as the exit approaches is another way to encourage a grantee to seek alternative sources of support, whether from other foundations, individual donors, government, or contracts. For example, an executive at a foundation that supports community development initiatives talked about the “dynamic” her organization tries to promote by offering grantees decreasing amounts of support in the last few years: “If ‘success’ is more self-sufficiency, then the ‘success’ of a program implies a decreased need for funding.”

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 The Effective Exit.