Organizational Effectiveness

How To Get Support

Only current Foundation grantees in the Foundation’s four program areas are eligible to apply for Organizational Effectiveness funds.

OE projects include:

  • Individual and team leadership: leadership development, management training, executive coaching, executive search/succession planning, and board development
  • Organizational planning and development: organizational assessment, strategic planning, business planning, fund development planning, strategic communications, evaluation capacity building, and cultural competency/diversity training
  • Network development: network strategic planning, governance, peer learning communities, and mergers

OE grants primarily cover the cost of outside consultants. These consulting engagements provide outside expertise that the organization lacks, but also build capacity within the organization for the future.

OE funds do not cover computers or software, rent or other occupancy expenses, website design, financial audits, tuition for degree programs, conference costs, recurring staff training expenses, program evaluations, printing of strategic plans or other reports, or legal fees.

How to Get Support

Organizations receiving grants through the Local Grantmaking Program should contact their primary Local Grantmaking program officer or directly for details on OE grant opportunities. Grantees in the Foundation’s other program areas should follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Submit a letter of inquiry

After you have defined the general objectives and approach of your project, draft a brief letter of inquiry (LOI) of two to three pages. The LOI should help us understand the relationship between your proposed project and our primary objectives: effective management, sound governance, and continuous learning and improvement.

Your LOI should address the following questions:

  1. What are the objectives of your project and what do you expect to accomplish? How will this project support your organization in meeting its goals and programmatic objectives?
  2. What special circumstances, challenges, or changes have caused your organization or network to focus on management and organizational issues at this time?
  3. In the long term, how do you see this project enhancing the effectiveness of your organization or network in addressing the management or organizational challenges you describe?
  4. How do you propose to use Foundation funds?
  5. Who from your organization’s staff and board has made the commitment to lead the project if funding is secured? Who are its champions? If a network, which members of your network champion this project, and how?

Send your LOI as a Word document (.doc) or PDF (.pdf) attached to an email to

Step 2: Invitation to submit a full proposal

During the review process, Organizational Effectiveness staff will consult with your primary Foundation program officer to seek additional input.

If you receive an invitation to submit a full proposal based on your LOI, our staff will contact you to discuss the next steps in the process and to review the guidelines for the types of activities and expenses that can be supported.

If your project requires collaboration with an outside consultant, you will be asked to:

  1. Identify the consultant with whom you wish to work and provide his or her resume and client list,
  2. Work with the consultant to develop a detailed workplan and budget for the project, and
  3. Submit the consultant’s work plan, including activities, outcomes, timeline, and a detailed budget.

These materials will constitute the core of your request and will be reviewed by Organizational Effectiveness staff before a final recommendation is made.

It is not necessary to identify the consultant you wish to work with before submitting your LOI. The staff will provide resources to help you find and select an appropriate consultant.