How We Work

We are guided by an understanding of your needs and aspirations.

We help design and manage effective giving programs that have passion and purpose. We start by listening.

What are your priorities?

Our relationship starts with a conversation organized around the four elements we see at the core of effective and joyful giving — impact & meaning, ease & efficiency, transitions & opportunity, and relationships.

In our philanthropy practice over decades, we have witnessed how careful attention to each of these elements builds a stronger philanthropic program. In this context, GMA will help you outline your goals and understand your many options. Your priorities and unique circumstances will inform our scope of services and team assignments.

Over the course of your foundation or giving program’s life cycle, these four elements may shift in importance and merit varying levels of attention. GMA’s framework is useful in anticipating and guiding modifications to your grantmaking, governance, and operations.

Key questions

Impact and Meaning

  • What do you want to change about the world?
  • How will you translate your aspirations into meaningful giving?
  • What are your measures of success?
  • How can you maximize your assets to go beyond grantmaking for social impact?

Ease and Efficiency

  • How will you maximize responsiveness and efficiency?
  • What supports do you need?
  • How will you encourage participation and coordinate many voices in decisions?
  • What compliance concerns should you understand?

Transitions and Opportunity

  • Will your philanthropy continue into perpetuity or end?
  • How will you plan for continuity and define your legacy?
  • How well are you meeting changing community needs?
  • What can you do to help your supported organizations plan for the future?


  • How can you work with others to advance philanthropic solutions?
  • Are your board and committee relationships actively supporting your mission?
  • When and how should you engage community voices?
  • How visible do you want your giving to be?

Ready to start a conversation about your giving? Contact us.