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Distinctive Grantmaking

Back to Out-of-School

NPO Conversation at GMA: Wednesday, September 10

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We invite leaders of nonprofit organizations to join us each quarter for a brown-bag lunch discussion about issues, ideas, and concerns in the nonprofit and philanthropic community. The meetings are a time for us to “talk shop” and move beyond the usual conversation between foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Each session focuses on a particular topic, and reservations are required. Guests will learn a little about GMA and a lot about their peers’ perspectives on important issues.

Topic for Conversation: Back to Out-of School

School-age children spend the majority of their time outside the classroom. For years, the nonprofit sector has helped to fill the gap, providing quality after-school and summer experiences. In today’s competitive and shifting global economy, we look to out-of-school time programs to narrow the academic achievement gap, through after-school enrichment and college access programs, and summer vacation programming designed to reduce learning loss.

Have we gone too far? Some would argue that the best learning takes place in less conventional places, in the freedom of unstructured and unusual activity. Seemingly unproductive activities have the capacity to transform individuals and the communities they share. Continue Reading »

Increases in our clients’ grantmaking profiled

Grants 2013 GMA Foundations’ Grants 2013 report released

Forty independent and corporate foundations and individual donors working with Boston-based GMA Foundations increased their giving in 2013 to a combined total of $37.3 million, up nearly 20% from the previous year. The philanthropic advisory firm’s newly released report describes the grantmaking reach of its clients, who awarded more than 1,500 grants to 1,100 nonprofits around the world.

Reflecting stronger investment returns, the amount of the average grant increased 9% over the prior year to $23,565. “We look to the nonprofit sector for innovation, agility, and strong connections to the community,” says Phil Hall, GMA’s Director of Grantmaking.  “Operating on a small scale, these nonprofit organizations are leading the way to social change, and we are proud to support them.”

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Follow your site visit with Thanks and more…

Tomato-Tea-SandwichesDISTINCTIVE GRANTMAKING

On the heels of a recent site visit, the group of trustees I was with wrote a check to the school. To be clear, our visit was not made in conjunction with a grant application. Their spontaneity impressed me and started me thinking.
Is it necessary to leave a tip for good learning?

A trustees’ learning tour…an educational site visit…a funders’ day out…a local nonprofit visit as an option at a national conference.  Such hands-on learning adventures have become commonplace in our field, and with good reason.  To better understand what nonprofits do, what their leadership accomplishes, and what may be possible with additional resources, there is no substitute for seeing with our own eyes. Site visits can even re-connect us
with our own mission.

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