The drive to achieve impact beyond grantmaking represents a paradigm shift in the way foundations seek to make social change. By bringing to bear new resources and thinking, this shift has the potential to amplify the impact of the philanthropic sector. Consultants and other intermediaries have critical roles to play in extending and enhancing this impact.
This article explores the opportunities and challenges inherent in foundations’ efforts to go beyond grantmaking and examines how they can – and cannot – effectively use consultants and other intermediaries to enhance such efforts. It presents three cases: incubating and launching a new organization, effectively deploying impact investments, and collaborating to advocate for policy change.
Using these cases and other experience as a reference base, the article then identifies five ways funders can use consultants and other intermediaries to pursue impact beyond grantmaking, and explores several common pitfalls.