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Five Accelerators of Equitable Grant-making

Here's how to harness them

Global crises of the past two years have yielded at least one silver lining for nonprofits: They have accelerated a movement among grantmakers to match the duration and flexibility of their funding to the arc and demands of change. Such a shift could not come at a more important time for organizations addressing acute threats to climate, health, our social fabric and world democracy.

Indeed, in a Ford Foundation-commissioned study by MilwayPLUS of leaders of funders and nonprofits that had experienced this shift, we found crises like the COVID-19 pandemic to be one of five key accelerators propelling grant-makers to cover the full costs of achieving mission, in ways that share power with grantees, vest trust, and spur greater impact.

“COVID was an accelerator in that it forced funders for different reasons to release control, and then they discovered, ‘Oh, it worked just fine…even better,” said Larry Kramer, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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