Leveraging Limited Dollars

How Grantmakers Achieve Tangible Results By Funding Policy And Community Engagement

Leveraging Limited Dollars


Written by: Lisa Ranghelli

Date: January 03, 2012


Why would foundation leaders want to change the way they approach their grantmaking? Most funders understand that local, state and federal government spending towards education, health care and human services far surpasses charitable donations and philanthropic grants to these causes. Yet many grantmakers continue to operate as if they can make a meaningful difference by applying band aids alone to big problems with their relatively small resources.

This report describes the work of funders that are choosing to engage in the policy arena as well, because they are not satisfied with working at the margins of pressing issues. Instead, they have decided to invest in organizations and strategies that can achieve significant results to strengthen communities over the long term. These grantmakers know that solutions for most major problems must involve all sectors of society and ensure government resources are used wisely and efficiently for the benefit of those most affected. And they believe that local communities have some of the best ideas and leadership capacity to make things better.