What will staff cuts mean for foundation grantmaking?

In May, the Ford Foundation offered a voluntary severance plan to 140 of its 550 staff members, and just last week the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation offered a similar plan to 42 per cent of its 250 employees. For a good round-up of staff reductions in the US foundation sector, read Stephanie Strom’s article in yesterday’s New York Times (21 June). What I’m interested in is how operating ‘efficiencies’ at foundations will affect grantmaking styles. In particular, I wonder if the quest for operational ‘efficiency’, along with the quest for measurable impact, will mean fewer foundations willing to make small grants. This is one of the issues that we will be looking at in a forthcoming issue of Alliance, which will focus on ‘small grants’. Chet Tchozewski of Global Greengrants Fund will be guest editor.

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