What Grantees Wish Grantmakers Knew about Exiting

  • Transitions take time. If you’ve been a core funder of an organization, it might take a while for the grantee to adjust to the idea that you won’t be around any longer. And, said one grantee, “a budget to help with the transition really helps."

  • Grantees can learn a lot from each other. “Some of the best technical assistance,” said a nonprofit executive, “is to bring leadership in a field together and get out of the way.” Peer-led leadership circles “take funders out of the equation and put grantees in touch with people they might not know who can become resources. And their help doesn’t rely on foundation support."

  • Most grantees are glad to know you’re interested in their success with other funders. Ask grantees about their fundraising efforts often and share ideas for new funding sources, said one nonprofit CEO, to “let them know you understand and care about their long-term funding needs.”

  • Some grantees need help with communicating their story. Communication consultants can be valuable, especially if they can help grantees learn how to reach the media effectively or inform government about their work.

  • Your report on the accomplishments of a project can be an asset to a grantee. It’s helpful when reaching out to new funders, said one grantee, to be able to point to a report on a former funder’s website saying “what the grant achieved, how it made a difference, and lessons learned."

  • A “capstone” event can help bring things to a close on a positive note. “The end of the grant is not a funeral!” one grantee emphasized. By supporting a nice event, a funder can communicate pride and ongoing interest in a grantee organization.

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.