Leading with Core Support
An Assessment of Weingart Foundation's Core Support Grantmaking
The Weingart Foundation (WF) made its first core support grants in February 2009. With a significant number of core support grants now closed, it is possible for the first time to assess grantees’ experiences and achievements with core support. This report examines the experiences of a sample of 57 early core support grants to organizations that are mid-sized and large (median budget of $3.2 million) and quite well established (median age is 28 years). Most are recipients of prior Weingart Foundation grants. The evaluation focuses on the application process, the perceived value of core support grants, their impact, and the future need for core support funding.
Many grantees experienced the application process for core support to be slightly more time consuming, challenging – and useful – than applying for other types of grants. They explained that the focus on the agency as a whole rather than one of its programs or a capital need caused them to conduct a deeper, broader analysis than they conduct for other grant applications. It also changed the nature of the conversation during site visits to one that encompassed the organizations’ overall strategies for moving into the future. For most nonprofits, the changed nature of the application process was a positive challenge. Many explained that the support and technical assistance provided by WF staff helped them understand core support and develop appropriate proposals