Center for Effective Philanthropy Survey
During the spring of 2013, the Foundation partnered with the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), a data-driven nonprofit organization that assists funders in improving their effectiveness, to conduct a survey of Foundation grantees regarding their perceptions of our impact on their work, our relationships with them and our grantmaking processes. Organizations with grants active between April 2012 and April 2013 that received funding from one of the three core program areas, Special Opportunities Fund and President’s Discretionary Fund were invited to complete a survey. The data from the 142 respondents (a response rate of 72%) were then compared to CEP’s database of prior survey results for nearly 300 funders. This comparative approach allowed CEP to prepare a Grantee Perception Report (GPR) detailing how the Foundation performed relative to other funders in the dataset and making recommendations accordingly.
Overall the Foundation received strong ratings, particularly for those measures that are most important to advancing our mission, like our impact on and knowledge of grantees’ fields of work. Grantees also provided many positive comments, frequently describing the Foundation as committed, supportive and helpful. Additionally, several of CEP’s recommendations align with changes staff had begun to implement prior to the survey, providing confirmation that these changes are beneficial to our grantees’ work. As we expected, there were also some opportunities for improvement noted, primarily with our application and reporting processes. We have studied these areas closely and have endeavored to improve them where feasible.
The executive summary of the GPR is provided below.
CEP Executive Summary
Public Welfare Foundation grantees rate the Foundation similar to or higher than the typical funder on most measures in the report.
- Public Welfare is rated higher than typical for its impact on grantees’ fields, and similarly to the typical funder for its impact on grantees’ organizations.
- Grantees rate the Foundation higher than typical for its understanding of grantees’ fields and organizations.
- Grantees’ perceptions of their relationship with Public Welfare are more positive than typical.
- Public Welfare’s interactions with grantees – fairness of treatment of grantees, responsiveness of staff, and grantee comfort approaching the Foundation – are rated higher than typical.
- Grantees rate the clarity and consistency of the Foundation’s communications similarly to the typical funder.
- Grantees rate Public Welfare’s selection and its reporting/evaluation processes less helpful than typical in strengthening their organizations/programs.
- A typical proportion of grantees indicate that they have discussed their completed report/evaluation with Public Welfare staff.
- Public Welfare grantees spend more hours on reporting/evaluation process than is typical.
- Public Welfare provides a higher than typical proportion of grantees with non-monetary assistance in intensive, high impact patterns.