Grantee Perception Report
To help us work together most effectively with our grantees, we periodically conduct a survey of all Colorado Trust grantees through the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP). This survey provides us with the candid, anonymous feedback of our grantees on an array of performance-related areas, including our impact on the field of health, in Colorado communities and on grantee organizations; the strength of our relationships with grantees; our grant selection process; our reporting requirements and evaluation processes. In addition to comparing the findings from this survey to the survey CEP conducted for us in 2007, we also are able to see how our foundation compares to some 264 similar foundations - and their nearly 39,000 grantees - across the country.
We first conducted this survey in 2007, and then repeated the CEP survey in 2011. We had an impressive response rate of 74% (162 out of 219 grantees) for the 2011 survey. We very much appreciate the many favorable comments we received from grantees through the survey. Equally if not more important were the recommendations made for areas in which grantees believe we need to improve. As the graph below shows, on the whole our grantees rated us slightly less favorably than they did in 2007.
Review of Findings
IMPACT ON THE FIELD
Grantees were asked to rate the funder's knowledge and understanding of their field; and the extent to which the funder encouraged collaboration, shared insights, introduced them to leaders and provided additional support in their field.
STRENGTH OF RELATIONSHIPS
Grantees were asked about the fairness and responsiveness of the funder, their comfort in approaching the funder to address problems and the clarity of funder communications of its goals and strategy.
HELPFULNESS OF SELECTION PROCESS
Grantees were asked to rate the funder's helpfulness in assisting applicants with their requests for funding, as well as the length and helpfulness of the funder's grant selection process.
HELPFULNESS OF REPORTING & EVALUATION PROCESSES
Grantees were asked about their views of the funder's reporting process after the grant was approved, how the funder assessed the results of the work funded by the grant and any changes the grantees made based on the evaluation of the work funded by the grant.
As a result of this feedback, we are committed to making the following improvements:
Strong Relationships. We want all of our grantee partners to be comfortable approaching us with new ideas, to address a problem or with suggestions for how we might conduct our work more effectively. Being approachable requires professional relationships with good communications between partners. Our staff is committed to being accessible, responsive and fair in all of our interactions with grantees. We also are exploring team-based models to strengthen our ability to better support our grant strategies.
Clear Communications. From individual conversations with our staff members, to information on our website or in our reports, we want our grantees to understand what we are (and aren't) supporting and why, and know what our process is for making grants. Through our internal meetings and trainings, we are striving to be more consistent, clearer and transparent in all of our communications.
Reasonable Requirements. The Colorado Trust grants have tended to be larger than those of some other foundations, with most being multi-year awards. As our grantmaking has changed a bit in the past few years to also include more smaller-amount and shorter-term grants, and more general operating grants, we have worked to "right size" our associated application and reporting requirements. We have more work to do on this front. Please know we are committed to streamlining our requirements to the extent possible, while continuing to assure that we have the information we need to be responsible for the dollars we steward and the results achieved.
We are grateful for all the work our grantees do and for their taking the time to share their feedback with us. In addition to conducting these periodic formal surveys, we welcome feedback on an ongoing basis. Please feel free to contact our staff members at any time by phone or email or via firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.