Clark Foundation Illustrates Grantmaking for a Rainy Day

Monday, May 2, 2016

Clark Foundation Illustrates Grantmaking for a Rainy Day

Recent years have seen a gradual but marked shift in philanthropy, from a traditional emphasis on program- or project-focused restricted grantmaking to more flexible funding that enables organizations to build their management infrastructure in addition to (and in support of) delivering programs. 

The Clark Foundation had some historical experience with making grants for endowment campaigns, but following the 2008 financial crisis, Clark identified working capital as a much more critical need for the nonprofits in its portfolio.

These organizations, many of which were key social service providers and heavily reliant on government contracts, were pushed to the financial brink as public funding retrenched and payments slowed down.

The need for (and absence of) reserves just to manage day-to-day cash flow became overwhelmingly apparent among several of the foundation’s grantees...

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