Based on a survey of grantees and declined applicants conducted last year by the Center for Effective Philanthropy, the report (74 pages, PDF) found that grantees' perceptions of the foundation remained positive across most measures, including impact on grantees' fields (82nd percentile among nearly three hundred peer organizations), impact on organizations (63rd percentile), funder-grantee relationships (70th percentile), openness to ideas from grantees about its strategy (80th percentile), and transparency (67th percentile). Within its customized peer cohort of twenty-three foundations, the foundation ranked highest on overall relationships with grantees, fairness in its treatment of grantees, staff responsiveness, clarity of communications with respect to goals and strategy, and consistency of the information it provides.
In response to areas for improvement identified by the report, the foundation has committed to addressing three — incorporating grantee feedback into evaluation design, awarding more multiyear grants, and updating its Grantee Experience Standards, which it first created in 2007 in response to low scores on its interactions with grantees in its two previous GPRs. To that end, the foundation will explore ways to move some two-year grants to a three-year cycle and be more intentional about how it works with grantees to develop and implement evaluations, which may include seeking grantee input on evaluation questions and holding learning sessions with grantees to walk through the findings and develop programmatic recommendations together. The 2018 report is the eighth grantee perception report the foundation has commissioned since 2004.
"We value this regular check-in and take our grantees' feedback seriously," wrote Packard Foundation president Carol S. Larson in a blog post.