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Grant Applicants Survey

2009  Survey of Grant Applicants
Feedback About Foundation Roles and Services                                              View 2003 and 2005 Results                                
Accountability and transparency have been important guiding principles since Healthcare Georgia Foundation began grantmaking in Georgia in 2002. The Foundation also places a high value on continuous improvement  in its pursuit of grantmaking excellence in health.
 
One tool the Foundation uses to assess the progress of its philanthropic activities is a periodic survey of grant applicants. Surveys were conducted in 2003 and 2005, and again in 2009. The surveys are one of the ways the Foundation receives feedback on applicants’ experiences with the grantmaking process as well as the Foundation’s roles and other services.
 
Methods:  The 2009 survey is a snapshot of opinions from representatives of nonprofit organizations that applied to the Foundation for funding between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008. The survey was conducted online through Survey Monkey. Common Focus consultants Jessie Bond, Jon Abercrombie, and Laura Burch created and administered the 29-question survey, analyzed results, and developed a report with findings.
 
Results: Overall, the survey revealed a Foundation that was well regarded, had a strong application/grants process, and reached the underserved. It was increasingly viewed as effective in undertaking certain roles in the community, and its materials and services were clear and valuable. Areas for continued improvement:  Areas for exploration by the Foundation included the complexity of the grants process, the perception of being difficult to understand or inaccessible, and why there was less alignment with certain funding priorities and less effectiveness with certain roles. Respondents’ suggestions included reaching out more across the state, increasing awareness and marketing of materials, and providing more fundraising training through distance learning.

Foundation’s Roles and Work:

  • Most respondents thought highly of the Foundation and its work. A small number said the process was difficult to understand or unclear.
  • Respondents believed that the funding priorities of the Foundation and their own priorities were significantly aligned.
  • Those who believed the Foundation played a variety of roles effectively increased since the 2005 survey

Foundation Outreach:

  • The Foundation was believed to be reaching the underserved of the state. A significant number, though smaller, held the belief that the Foundation was reaching the entire state.
  • To improve its visibility and outreach, some respondents suggested participation in more local events and presentations.
  • The Foundation’s web site informed the largest number of respondents about the Foundation, but other Foundation materials and suggestions from people with knowledge of the Foundation were also used.

Grant Management and Support:

  • The Foundation’s application and grants process generally worked well, with a small minority that indicated the process was difficult and could be simplified.
  • The Foundation’s evaluation and reporting requirements were viewed by most respondents as reasonable and clear.
  • All respondents valued meetings with Foundation staff.
  • Most grantee respondents had a good relationship with the Foundation, while most non-funded applicants indicated little if any relationship.

Foundation Materials and Services:

  • Most respondents thought highly of the Foundation and its work. A small number said the process was difficult to understand or unclear.
  • Respondents believed that the funding priorities of the Foundation and their own priorities were significantly aligned.
  • Those who believed the Foundation played a variety of roles effectively increased since the 2005 survey
     

Conclusion:  In conclusion, several major themes emerged from the findings of the 2009 survey. The survey paints a picture of an organization that has become increasingly well-known and well regarded. It is seen as professional and forward thinking. Even among those who did not receive funds, 87% of their descriptive words were positive. At the same time, other words indicated a need for ongoing self-evaluation to avoid being difficult to understand or inaccessible.
 
For copies of the complete report, please contact Symone McClain, Director of Grants Management (404-653-0990, smcclain@healthcaregeorgia.org).
 
On behalf of Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s Board of Directors and Staff…thank you for your feedback and guidance in our pursuit of grantmaking excellence in health!
 

2003 and 2005 Grant Applicants Survey Results

In 2003, we conducted a survey of our grant applicants, aimed at understanding their experiences with our grantmaking process. By holding our own grantmaking process accountable, we hoped to gain important insight about how and where improvements could be made. We reported the results of the 2003 survey in our 2004 Annual Report: Advancing Health Policy.

In 2005, we reached out to our applicants once again to measure our progress and to find more opportunities to improve our grantmaking. Survey respondents told us that they want to hear more from us, and have more access to our staff. In addition, they indicated that they desired a more streamlined grant application process, including the ability to apply online.