Support Nonprofit Resilience

Grantmakers enable nonprofits to focus on long-term mission fulfillment by providing support that is flexible, reliable and enables grantees to build critical skills. Whether it’s supporting the development of strong nonprofit leaders, helping grantees to build and maintain their capacity or providing the kinds of support that contribute to strong and effective nonprofits, grantmakers can play a key role is supporting the financial resilience and sustainability of their grantees.

To help grantmakers support nonprofit resilience, GEO has compiled answers to some of the most common questions about financial sustainability, capacity building and leadership development. If you would like to propose a new question related to this topic, please contact Amy Shields.

Leadership Development

A nonprofit organization’s resiliency and capacity to navigate change successfully depends largely on its people. Ask any grantmaker about the distinguishing characteristics of strong and effective nonprofit organizations, and the conversation inevitably will turn to leadership. But too often nonprofits lack sufficient time and resources to make their talent and leadership needs a high priority, which ultimately hinders impact. Many grantmakers are making leadership development investments as a means of strengthening nonprofit performance

Capacity Building

Nonprofits need certain core capacities in order to deliver results — strong leaders, financial management, performance measurement and technology, as well as softer things like communications, adaptability and relationships. These needs will also change over time as organizations evolve. Grantmakers can play a key role in helping nonprofits build and maintain their core infrastructure and other capacities.

Financial Sustainability

The size of many grants, and the strings attached to them, often don’t align with the results grantmakers seek. With GEO’s support, grantmakers are embracing approaches that fuel nonprofit success — such as providing general operating support, multiyear grants, larger average grants and support for leadership development and other forms of capacity building, as well as releasing restrictions on grants and caps on overhead.

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