Trending and Transparency - The State of the Granting Industry

Enter the term “trends in granting” into Google and you’ll get back 38,700,000 results. You’ll find a wide range of documents, including reports from well-respected organizations, blogs written by grantmakers, case studies and fact sheets.

That’s a lot of information, and few have the time to sift through it all. Yet grantmakers need to keep up to date on the latest trends to learn what will be a short-term fad and what’s going to impact how they award funding in the future.

How is the granting space changing?
We did some digging ourselves and discovered three major topics of note that all revolve around the predominant theme of transparency in the granting industry.

This is thanks to a range of factors, including the prevalence of smart technology and social media that has lead to the growing use of digital media to share outcomes. This topic is heavily influenced by the millennial generation moving into more senior, decision-making roles. We’re also seeing an increasing focus on more business-like impact reporting of granting outcomes to show the clear impact of funding activities.

Outcomes Based Granting and Impact Reporting
“This is a quickly growing trend in the foundation world. Foundations are looking at ways to track not just their data but also the nonprofits they serve. They want to be very clear about what their dollars are doing,” Danette Peters, the founder of Onyx Consulting and long-standing member of the Grants Managers Network says in relation to this important topic.

The Evolution of Annual Reporting and the Relationship Between Foundations and Nonprofits
While traditionally, foundations would publish an annual report that covered money in and money out, now more information is being sought that digs deeper than just dollars spent.

Rather than simply focusing on amounts awarded, boards and funders are looking for a deeper understanding, such as what changes in the community you serve benefited? What was the impact of those funds on people’s lives?

According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, “Nobody gets an A for effort anymore. You get an A for impact.”

“The general trend is moving towards greater donor involvement and transparency” Haifa Staiti, Manager, Client Services, Grantbook Inc. Haifa is a grantmaking and philanthropy specialist with over 10 years of experience working with large foundations.

The Millennial Impact
Those born between 1980 and 2000 have a unique approach to workplace management and engagement as well as philanthropy, so foundations would do well to pay attention to this generation as they move up the corporate ladder, according to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

“Millennials do a lot of online research before they donate so they can quickly confirm if the cause they are looking to fund is legitimate and the money will go towards something they care about,” says Sandra Liberty, senior consultant at Smartech Consulting. Having worked in the nonprofit world for nearly 20 years, Sandra has experience in a diverse range of organizations including healthcare, education and security.

This is why, according to an article in AdWeek, larger charitable organizations are starting to rethink their strategy, moving away from traditional mass marketing and workplace giving to crowdfunding and social media initiatives to woo this generation of donors.

What granting leaders need to know
Collaborative relationships are being actively developed between foundations and nonprofits and nonprofits and their donors. Impact reporting will also continue to be a major focus, and organizations are developing strategies to entice millennials to engage with them.

How is this happening? Are foundations and nonprofits willing to change how they work together? Are millennials truly going to make long term changes to how the industry is managed and fundraises?
Are you prepared for the next shift?
Combined with impactful statistics from reports produced by Deloitte, The Bridgespan Group, and the Foundation Review Center for Effective Philanthropy, learn what else our experts have to share by downloading our white paper.


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