December 2002

Overseas staffing‚ foundation dilemmas

Volume 7 , Number 4

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Guest Editors' Article

To be or not to be … on the spot

1 December 2002
Caroline Hartnell and Andrew Milner

All grantmaking foundations that operate overseas face a choice: do they open local field offices in the countries or regions where they operate, or do they work at a remove, making grants and overseeing programmes from their headquarters? Alliance spoke to a number of foundations about the choice they had made and the pros and cons of working that way. We found there was no right or wrong answer and that each solution can serve …

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Editorial – December 2002

It is over 18 months since Barbara Kibbe, then director of the Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy Program (both the Program and Barbara herself will be sadly missed), suggested that it might be interesting to interview people from the Gates, Ford and Packard Foundations about their different levels of staffing relative to grantmaking. This suggestion finally grew into the two main feature articles in this issue on how foundations run their overseas operations. These are based on interviews with 14 foundation leaders and nine grantees in different regions. We hope Alliance readers will find these two parallel perspectives interesting …

Overseas staffing – Foundation dilemmas

This issue of Alliance looks at how foundations that operate internationally run their operations. Interviews with a broad spectrum of foundations provide interesting insights into the considerations underlying the choices made regarding three interrelated issues: style of operation, organizational structure and staffing. Whether to run your operation centrally or through field offices appears to be a critical choice for foundations. Some have opted for field offices because they feel they need to be close at hand to help build the capacity of their grantees. Others choose to run their operation from a central headquarters because they don’t want to be …