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Meet the Grantmaker — Trends in Funding for Operating Support: The Grantmaker's Perspective

San Francisco, CA
June 28, 2007

Segment 1: Welcome & Introductions, Janet Camarena, Director, Foundation Center-San Francisco


This presentation was recorded at the Foundation Center's San Francisco library/learning center on June 28, 2007.

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Running time: 4:40

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  • Download the accompanying slide presentation (PDF, 293 KB).

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Segment 1: Welcome & Introductions, Janet Camarena, Director, Foundation Center-San Francisco [4:40]

Segment 2: Carol Silverman presents data from USF INOM's recent report, Practices and Policies of California Foundations in Supporting Grantees' General Operating Costs [27:55]

Segment 3: Discussion panel: "Give a brief overview of your foundation's mission and philanthropic objectives, and then please tell us what are your foundation's policies and practices regarding general operating support. Have these policies recently shifted or consciously been addressed in some way?" [16:50]

Segment 4: Follow-up question: "Have you noticed a trend in grantmakers stating that they had recently examined their practice of supporting general operating costs?" [1:21]

Segment 5: Discussion panel: "Do you feel that general operating support is 'strategic grantmaking?' Why or why not? And related to this, we hear a lot about funders emphasizing outcomes and impact these days. Does this kind of pressure for outcomes take us back to the day where project funding is more en vogue than general support? How have you grappled with that tension between a need for outcomes and a desire to give organizations you believe in flexibility with your support?" [6:25]

Segment 6: Discussion panel: "Some people argue that general operating supports creates a dependency among nonprofits. Is that true or not?" [4:55]

Segment 7: Discussion panel: "Can each of you share with us trends you are seeing among your colleagues as far as attitudes toward general operating support? Do you think it's true that more funders are doing general operating now? And if so, do you think this is reserved for grantees they have already supported for years, and that then project funding becomes a stepping stone toward general operating support? Or is there some other common approach you are noticing?" [4:08]

Segment 8: Discussion panel: "Given that the board is so important what can you tell us about who your board members are and what fields do they come from?" [2:25]

Segment 9: Moderated Q&A [28:11]

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