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The horrible and piteous sight of a potentially world-changing grantee, tightly bound in restricted funding

Image credit: J-Alves

UK foundations are in the process of being independently rated for diversity, transparency and accountability 

The Foundation Practice Rating project, launched in May of this year, is now well underway! Its purpose is to rate hundreds of UK foundations on three areas of practice: diversity, transparency and accountability. 

This project is assessing only the publicly available information about a foundation, according to certain criteria. It’s being led by Friends Provident Foundation, in partnership with a number of other funders (details are here).

Whilst many funding organisations have been actively involved in supporting the project, many funders are simply being studied from the outside, regardless of whether or not they asked to be. We think this is extremely healthy since a review that looked only at the most ambitious funding organisations would hardly represent a fair overview of the field as a whole. 

For more background on what the project is and why it's important work, see this article by Friends Provident's Danielle Walker Palmour in Alliance Magazine.

Wondering what your foundation could change to make sure it comes out well in this sort of study, in future? Check out this guide produced by Giving Evidence (the research partner for the project).

Full disclosure: Gemma has been assisting as a contractor on this project. 


Join us for our next Readers' Roundtable

For the last couple of months we’ve been running free online roundtable discussions for readers of Modern Grantmaking, about every two weeks. During these incredibly enjoyable, warmly supportive sessions, grantmakers have been sharing reflections and ideas in response to different chapters from our book

If you haven’t had a chance to join a Readers’ Roundtable yet, but would like to - don’t worry! Each session is standalone and there’s been a rich mix of people coming along for the odd session, as well as those who’ve been able to attend regularly. 

The next roundtable will be on Chapter 5, ‘What big questions should all funders debate from time to time?’, and will be held on November 8th at 4PM UK time (08.00AM PDT, 11AM EDT, 5PM CET). Duration will be one hour, and we'll be talking about issues like taking a meaningful approach to risk, and how to talk about funding in perpetuity vs spend down.
Sign up here - places will be limited to make it a real discussion!
Note - this discussion won’t make sense if you haven’t read the relevant chapter of our book, so get your copy of Modern Grantmaking here.


Modern Grantmaking News

"A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Modern Grantmaking" - Karsten Timmer, coordinator of a network of european grantmakers.

We were interviewed by a network of German and north European foundations about why we wrote the book and the difference we hope it will make. You can watch this interview
here, in which you can see Karsten deliver his killer quote above. They also posed some good and tough questions, and you can see how we responded in the same video.

Modern Grantmaking was recently reviewed by The Philanthropist Journal alongside Meg Massey and Ben Wrobel’s brilliant book, Letting Go. Thank you to Hilary Pearson for being so nice about it!

We’ve also been busy spreading the news about Modern Grantmaking far and wide!

We ran a sold-out workshop at the recent ACF Conference focused on how to (re)design grantmaking when you work for a smaller funder. And we also attended our first ever in-person book event (INTENSE!!), kindly hosted by I.G. Advisors. There was a pub quiz on facts from our book, it was amazing!


Writing on grantmaking that has that caught our eyes

  • Dana Schmidt, Senior Program Officer at Echidna Giving, has compiled a Twitter thread of essays about things she wishes she’d known when starting in grantmaking 15 years ago;
  • Vu Le, who runs Nonprofit AF, wrote an article about how ‘philanthropy needs to stop its toxic intellectualizing’. His main argument being that funders, in particular “left-leaning” ones, should stop engaging in “out-of-touch practices”, and instead rally to save democracy;
  • In an article for the Center for Effective Philanthropy, Kevin Bolduc, discusses a movement called OpenNotes, which helps patients and clinicians share meaningful notes in medical records. Kevin argues that this kind of approach could be useful in grantmaking, given most nonprofits and foundations will keep notes on conversations they have...

Give us some Amazon love

Just like every other author and podcaster, we strive mainly to attract five-star ratings. If you've read Modern Grantmaking and you want to help us, and help to make sure that more grantmakers are influenced by it, please take a moment to go to your national version of Amazon and leave us a review. 

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