June 14, 2010; Source: CEP | The Center for Effective Philanthropy today released a study [PDF] that asserts that many foundations have not only done a poor job of communicating their plans during the downturn to their grantees but also have not been perceived as helpful to their grantees as grantees have struggled to reorganize.
The study queried 6,000 grantees of 37 foundations. From the study: “When asked how clearly, if at all, foundations had communicated with grantees about their response to the economic climate, 30 percent of grantees indicate that no such communication had occurred. Of those grantees that did report receiving communication, 22 percent indicate that their funder’s response to the current economic climate was unclear. This is almost three times the number of grantees that rate other communications from their funders as unclear.” There were some foundations whose reviews from grantees were very good both on communication and helpfulness. One is the Cleveland Foundation, interviewed in the PDF above.—Ruth McCambridge