In early 2023, we conducted our most recent grantee survey with the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP). Our deepest thanks to the 368 organizations who responded. We appreciate the time you invested to share your thoughts with us and at this time, we wish to share what we heard and our initial reflections.
What we learned
We identified several themes about our areas of strength and opportunities for growth. The following list is not exhaustive, as we are still analyzing the results and carefully reading your thoughtful comments. Here is what we heard:
- Our grantee relationships are strong, characterized by responsiveness and trust.
- Grantee partners have positive perceptions of the Foundation’s impact in the community and understanding of the fields in which you work.
- There is interest in receiving non-monetary support beyond the grant, such as capacity building activities, increased collaboration, and convening opportunities.
- There is a desire for larger and/or multi-year grants as well as faster funding decisions.
- While the Foundation is highly rated with respect to clarity of communications and transparency, respondents would like greater insight into the Foundation’s values, vision, and future plans, including our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Many of you commented on the Foundation’s recent leadership transition and expressed a desire to learn more about any possible changes to our grantmaking priorities and strategies.
- We heard a desire for increased interactions with our team and greater communication.
“The Foundation is a leader in the field of nonprofit grantmaking. They solicit feedback from grantees (formally and informally) and are responsive to the evolving needs of the community at large and their grantees specifically. They provide critical support of areas that need the most financial support (e.g. general operating, capacity building, etc) and set an example to other grantmakers of how funders can be creative in how they support nonprofit organizations.”
“I would welcome the opportunity to engage with Program Officers or other staff more frequently – to align on projects, share more regular updates, and strategize on implementation. We are grateful for autonomy and flexibility, but also value thought partnership and collaboration!”
How we will improve
Based on this feedback, we are exploring how we will improve our practices moving forward. We remain committed to improving the well-being of Angelenos through a blend of responsive grantmaking and strategic initiatives and believe that general operating support is crucial to the health of nonprofits. We aim to maintain our strong grantee relationships through open and authentic conversations, based on trust and respect. Over the coming year, we commit to progress on the following:
- We will refine our process further to minimize the time required to apply for and receive a grant.
- We will continue to thoughtfully explore opportunities to address grant amounts and lengths, while balancing a commitment to partnering with as many LA-serving organizations as possible.
- We will lean further into our “beyond the grant” activities, including additional convenings as we design our new office space with accommodations for trainings and gatherings in mind.
- We will find ways to communicate our values, strategy, and approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion in a more transparent, clear, and consistent manner.
We value your feedback and have conducted a series of conversations with our staff and Board to discuss our survey results. We will continue to seek your input as we implement changes, and we encourage you to continue sharing your thoughts with us via site visits, phone calls, and emails. Thank you for your partnership in our efforts to improve the well-being of Angelenos!