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Advancing Policy Advocacy through General Operating Support Grants

February 25, 2013 1:00 pm Eastern Time

Public Policy Strategies Audioconference Series

Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm E.T


  • Fatima Angeles, The California Wellness Foundation
  • Mary Vallier-Kaplan, Endowment for Health 
  • Alice Warner-Mehlhorn, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

General operating support grants offer both stability and flexibility to advocacy organizations, but many health funders remain wary of this grantmaking strategy. This audioconference  discussed how foundations are effectively managing general operating support grants to advance health policy goals.

Issues explored included:
• When should general operating support grants be used to fund advocacy?
• What are the key advantages and disadvantages of general operating support grants relative to project-based funding?
• How are advocacy organizations selected for general operating support grants? In what ways does this funding mechanism alter the nature of grantee-funder relationships?
• How should general operating support grants for advocacy be evaluated?
• What are the best ways of communicating the value and impact of general operating support to a foundation’s governing board?


The State of General Operating Support, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Call to Action: Organizing to Increase the Effectiveness and Impact of Foundation Grantmaking, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
In Search of Impact: Practices and Perceptions in Foundations’ Provision of Program and Operating Grants to Nonprofits, The Center for Effective Philanthropy
Assessing the Impact: General Operating Support, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT), TCC Group

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