This afternoon, I enjoyed attending the panel discussion event, Meet the Funders.  It was hosted by:  IUPUI Solution Center, Nonprofit Solutions Initiative.  Panelists included:  Michael Twyman of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Ellen Annala of United Way Central Indiana, Angela Carr Klitzsch of Central Indiana Community Foundation, and Teresa Bennett of the IUPUI Solution Center.  Marie Beason of Indiana Grantmakers Alliance also offered a brief presentation.

The panelists highlighted the following trends for foundation giving in the current economic climate:

  • Some foundations are not funding capital or endowment requests.  Instead, they are focusing on program and operational support.
  • There is a renewed interest in capacity building.  Foundations are recognizing a role in long-term planning and security.
  • Many foundations are not entertaining proposals from new organizations.  Organizations with pre-established relationships are preferred.
  • Giving may still be down for 2010, 2011, and even further.  Pay-out rates are usually calculated on a three-year rolling average.
  • Corporate foundations, in particular, may be interested in providing in-kind services and volunteers – not just financial support.
  • Foundations with large endowments may begin to offer loans to nonprofit organizations.  This leverages the large financial base of foundations and benefits smaller agencies that often struggle with cash flow.  (Note:  These loans could be offered below the market rate.)

What other trends do you see in the grantmaking world right now?  Please leave a comment.

Check out this excerpt from my work portfolio for best practice guidelines on fundraising in a recession.

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