Do the Homework


Before entering into a grantmaking relationship, the onus of due diligence should be on the grantmaker, not the grantseeker.



  • Reduce pre-proposal requirements for grant applicants

  • Be proactive in getting to know prospective grantees through research and asking for recommendations

  • Use available public records to understand a prospective grantee’s purpose, programs, leadership, and financial standing

  • Look beyond your usual circles to identify organizations that are aligned with your foundation’s values and vision, but that may be overlooked due to implicit bias



  • Alleviates power imbalance by putting the onus of due diligence on the grantmaker

  • Saves grantees from wasting time on unnecessary paperwork in early vetting stages

  • Paves the way for a more trusting and rewarding relationship with grantees


From the Blog

“Doing the homework and spending time with prospective grantees is the beginning of building a relationship – whether we move forward or not – and gives them cues about our foundation’s values and approach.” —Phil Li, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation