Open Society Foundations: Looking at Organizational Health of Grantees

“We’re shifting to a greater focus on organizational health in our grantmaking,” says Sandra Dunsmore, director of the Grant Making Support Group at the Open Society Foundations (OSF),  “because we believe that healthy organizations will be more enduring, and therefore help strengthen fields that are then better able to make and defend gains. In many situations, without healthy organizations to push for institutionalization of social change, sustainability is greatly reduced.” This shift at OSF means the foundation is paying more attention to issues like organizational financial health, governance, leadership and management,  reputation for effectiveness and presence in the public sphere as lenses for helping understand the strengths and challenges of the organizations it supports. This is based on the belief that a clear-sighted understanding of a grantee organization positions a funder to better support that organization.

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