Core Operating Support

Flexible Grants

iStock_000009700656_smallNonprofits use general operating support funds to use in the best way it sees fit to achieve its mission. The flexible nature of core support grants enables grantees to pursue unforeseen opportunities, adapt to the times and adjust programmatic priorities as needed.

Multi-year funding enables nonprofits to plan ahead. It recognizes the long-term commitment needed to solve complex and difficult issues that many nonprofits and foundations are grappling with.

Together, general operating support and multi-year funding are important in creating healthy and effective nonprofits. Unfortunately, there continues to be a severe shortage of these types of grants at a time when grantees need as much core operating money as possible both to help cope with funding cutbacks and to help offset the increased demands for services. NCRP has been calling for foundations to increase their flexible, multi-year general support grantmaking as one way to help nonprofits build their capacity to serve marginalized communities.

 

Related Initiatives

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Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best: Benchmarks to Assess and Enhance Grantmaker Impact
This is the first ever set of measurable guidelines for foundations and institutional grantmakers to operate ethically and maximize the impact of their dollars.

 

Related Publications

The Philanthropic Landscape
by Niki Jagpal and Kevin Laskowski
May 2013, November 2012
The Philanthropic Landscape in an annual examination of the latest available data to bring you analyses of four key grantmaking trends in U.S. philanthropy: giving that specifically benefit underserved communities, social justice philanthropy, core support and multi-year funding.

A Call to Action: Organizing to Increase the Effectiveness and Impact of Foundation Grantmaking

by Rick Cohen
March 2007
Many nonprofit organizations are constantly struggling to find enough resources to make their organizations more effective and sustainable. This report illustrates how the lack of core operating support is at the center of this struggle.

Not All Grants Are Created Equal: Why Nonprofits Need General Operating Support from Foundations

September 2005
The report investigates the types of organizations that receive the most general operating support and lays out the case of why nonprofits need general operating support and why foundations are often reluctant to provide it.

The Core of the Matter

July 2003
The Core of the Matter is a meeting of local, regional and national nonprofits convened by NCRP in Washington to discuss the importance and need for operating support grantmaking for the sustainability of the sector.

View All NCRP Publications

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