The Real Cost Project: Increasing the Impact of Philanthropy in California

Publication date: 
August, 2016

The Real Cost Project: Increasing the Impact of Philanthropy in California

Take a look at the findings of Phase 1 of The Real Cost Project, a joint statewide initiative by Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers and Southern California Grantmakers to increase philanthropy's impact across California. You will find recommendations, next steps and action items for your ogranization.


Around the country, as well as across the State of California, grantmakers are examining their funding practices and looking to develop new approaches to better support the communities they serve. Recently, numerous grantmakers have begun exploring what it would take to fund the real costs of the organizations they support – that is all of the necessary investments for a nonprofit organization to deliver on mission and to be sustainable over the long term. Building off of this interest, Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers and Southern California Grantmakers launched a joint statewide initiative – the Real Cost Project – to increase the impact of philanthropy across California.

Created by funders for funders, the Real Cost Project explored how best to support grantmakers in developing new grantmaking practices based on what it really costs nonprofit organizations to deliver outcomes. Through research, regional convenings, and senior level executive briefings, the project identified what it would take for funders to overcome institutional and sector-wide barriers and to be able to move from awareness to action.

Designed as a multi-phase learning project, the Real Cost Project sought to answer the question “What do grantmakers need to drive change within their organizations and within the sector in favor of a real cost funding approach?” By identifying barriers that were preventing grantmakers from changing, the Project could determine what support grantmakers and their grantees needed to implement changes in practice. The work of previous projects including “Real Talk About Real Costs,” “The Overhead Myth, ” and “The Starvation Cycle” had raised awareness for the need for new approaches to grantmaking and achieving real outcomes. The purpose of the Real Cost Project was to move from awareness to action and to actually change behavior – an ambitious goal.  

To get in touch about the Real Cost Project, contact Kate Seely at kseely@ncg.org.

 

Read the full PDF version of this report below: