Program Learning and Fine-Tuning

Midcourse corrections can make a program more responsive or efficient. In deciding what to change, grantmakers rely on information from grantee surveys and reports, evaluation or analysis of the field, or attention to grantees’ success and their own internal operations:

  • A medical research funder increased the term of its grants from three years to five years and targeted early career physician-scientists rather than medical school students after an evaluation showed that doctors wanting to do clinical research had a hard time getting funding at that point in their careers.
  • A community foundation outsourced the administration of its scholarship programs to a third-party intermediary when it became clear that heavy administrative burdens were distracting the foundation from its core mission.
  • An arts funder expanded its successful professional development program, designed originally for its fellows, to serve artists around the country.
  • A scholarship provider redistributed its college support to give more substantial amounts to fewer students after realizing that small grants weren’t making a difference in students’ decision to enroll.

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.