Aiming to have a broad effect on organizations or communities, some grantmakers choose to fund individuals. It’s true that grants to individuals make special demands on foundations, both legally and administratively, but sometimes they're the only way to achieve an important objective.
In this guide, grantmakers talk about the rigors and rewards of investing in people. Learn how to design and manage a grants-to-individuals program, including developing a theory of change, using the right funding mechanism, and finding the right people to support.
The application. GranteeA microbiologist expressed concern that "many of our students are turning away from research because they see their professors spending so much time on grant applications." An accomplished artist described her life as "deadline-driven" and wished aloud that she could "build an organization around myself" to manage the administrative aspects of art-making. s said that applications should be concise, have a reasonable time frame, and not involve too much busy work.Read More »
Here's a quick look at how six funders started with a purpose they wanted to accomplish, articulated a theory of change, and ended up with a program model for making grants to individuals. The names are changed, but the descriptions are based on real programs.Read More »
Midcourse corrections can make a program more responsive or efficient. In deciding what to change, grantmakers rely on information from grantee surveys and reports, evaluation or analysis of the field, or attention to grantees’ success and their own internal operations:Read More »
Create a standardized assessment system. A standardized system to assess and rank applicants can help make the selection process objective and nondiscriminatory. It ensures that the same criteria are used by all readers and across stages of the application process.Read More »
Provide support through a host institution:
Host institutions may benefit as well: colleges get the students they admit, nonprofits get their leaders back rejuvenated by a sabbatical, research centers get the reflected prestige of prize winners, and fiscal sponsors fulfill their missions and get the administrative fee they charge.Read More »