The New York City-based Ford Foundation has announced that its most recent Center for Effective Philanthropy-issued Grantee Perception Report rates the foundation highly in most areas and shows improvement compared to the results of its 2008 report.
Based on survey responses from nearly two thousand grantee organizations, Grantee Perception Report: Ford Foundation 2012 (excerpt, 22 pages, PDF) gave the foundation high scores for advancing knowledge in its grantees' fields and for its level of involvement in the development of grantees' proposals, rating it higher in both categories than the median score for comparable large private funders as well as the foundation's 2008 scores. In addition, the survey found that the percentage of grantees reporting that the foundation provided comprehensive or field-focused non-monetary assistance above and beyond the grant was higher than that of all other private funders in its cohort.
According to a report excerpt posted on the Ford Web site, the foundation's ratings improved in several areas, including its impact on public policy in its grantees' fields, fairness in its treatment of grantees, approachability when a problem arises, consistency of information provided by communications resources, and grant dollars awarded per hour of administrative time spent by grantees. While the foundation's scores on the impact of its funding on grantees' sustainability and on the helpfulness of its reporting and evaluation process in strengthening funded organizations or programs were above the median for similarly sized funders, both fell slightly from the foundation's 2008 levels.
The report also included suggestions from grantees about how the foundation could improve grantee relations. "We learned that our grantees would like us to engage them even more about their own strategic thinking, and that while the clarity of our communications was impressive, we could make our reporting requirements even more straightforward," the foundation noted on its Web site. "This and other feedback in the report will help us serve our grantees even better and keep up the conversation about how to increase the impact of their work."