Here’s What We’re Learning from You About How to be a Better Partner

At The California Endowment, we are steadfast in our commitment to building respectful, compassionate, and supportive partnerships with our grantees.

Part of that commitment includes humbly asking about how the partnership feels, listening without an agenda, and making changes based on what we hear. One of the ways we do this is by commissioning the Center for Effective Philanthropy to conduct a survey – also known as the Grantee Perception Report (GPR) – on a regular basis.

Why This Matters

The GPR allows us to see how we’re doing through the lens of our partners’ experiences and compare this feedback to years prior and to other foundations across the country. It shows us where we are doing well and where we can improve our relationships and commitments.

Recently, we received the results of our fifth GPR survey. We’ve taken the time to review the results with our staff, executive team, and Board and to determine how we can better serve our grantees moving forward.

Before we share what, we heard and how we’re responding, we want to thank the 409 organizations who took the time to provide us with extensive and transparent feedback. The California Endowment exists to support you as you lead the way to a more equitable, healthy, and racially just California. Thank you.

You can view the key findings and recommendations in this Executive Summary Report. Below, we’ll go over both the positive results and areas for improvement.

What Our Grantees Loved

The following are areas in which our grantees provided positive feedback and rated as working well – and we remain committed to maintaining these elements of our partnership moving forward.

  • Expansion of general operating support grants and multi-year grants.
  • Impact on public policy.
  • Commitment to combating structural racism.
  • Streamlined grant proposal process.

Areas for Improvement

The following is where our grantees told us we can improve.

  • Stronger connections with program managers. As a whole, grantees said that they desire more regular interaction with their program manager and stronger connections if their program manager has changed.
  • Communicating our strategy and priorities. We need to improve how we communicate our strategic plan, the direction our work is taking as it evolves, and our funding priorities.
  • Additional support and resources. Grantees would like support beyond their grant from The Endowment, which is something that we haven’t offered consistently.

Moving Forward

Based on the feedback from this report, we are putting together a plan to learn, respond, elevate, and deepen our grantee partnerships. The following is how we intend to do exactly that.

  • Communicate more frequently and transparently about our strategic priorities via our website so that we are as clear, supportive, and accessible as possible to our grantee partners.
  • Better support program staff communications and transitions with grantees so that we can build and maintain trusting relationships that we know are crucial to our collective impact.
  • Streamline our grant processes and build in more proposal supports to minimize the burden on our partners, freeing them up to focus on impact, not paperwork.

Thank you again to each one of our grantees for your ongoing trust and partnership. We promise to continue listening deeply, receiving feedback humbly, and sharing transparently so that we can realize our vision for a just and equitable California for all together.

Dr. Robert K Ross


The California Endowment



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