Changing Grant Making to Change the World: Reflecting on BUILD's First Year

Changing Grant Making to Change the World: Reflecting on BUILD's First Year

The 's program, a six-year, $1 billion initiative aimed at helping organizations address inequality, awarded five-year grants in its first eighteen months to more than two hundred advocacy organizations, grassroots organizers, think tanks, litigators, intermediaries, and narrative change organizations in twenty-seven countries, a report from the foundation and  finds. The report,  (22 pages, PDF), outlines the rationale and goals of the initiative, which include measurably increasing the durability and resilience of grantee organizations and networks; making them more powerful, more impactful, and more networked in their fields; creating deeper, more strategic, and more trusting relationships between the foundation's program staff and grantees; and increasing understanding among other funders and NGOs of the role of institutional strengthening in advancing social justice. The report also offers six early lessons from the initiative: 1) nonprofits thrive with larger, longer-duration, more flexible grants; 2) flexible, longer-term grants have the greatest impact when they are closely aligned with strategy; 3) grants can foster deeper relationships between grantmakers and the organizations they support, although money can't buy trust; 4) flexible, longer-term grants can work anywhere in the world; 5) supporting institutions is critical, as is catalyzing and supporting networks; and 6) both and rigorous evaluation are virtues.