Location: 224 W 57th St, New York, 10019 NY
Types of Grants Awarded:
For Fiscal Year
Change in Assets FY :
Amount of Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits:
Reviewer 7689 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017
Pursuing a grant from OSF is usually a low ROI exercise. They express interest and then you never hear from them again. They may also spend a lot of time talking with you and then not fund you. Expect to have no idea what your probability of getting funded is and be cautious in building them into your pipeline - you will likely be left with a big hole to fill.
Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues, Difficult to work with
Applied and not funded
This funder made large public commitments to helping with the refugee crisis and has very very few results to show - and has put very very little money out.
Hire more program officers with field experience actually building and running things. Attend fewer conferences and focus more on your grantmaking work. Coordinate better internally. You are developing a very poor reputation in the field for complete lack of internal coordination. It is impossible to know who does what.
Twitter and social media.
Grant Applicant - applied in 2016
Be prepared for the application process to take a very long time, sometimes as much 12-18 months. On the other hand, expect very knowledgable program officers who are experts in their fields.
Risk taker, Culturally sensitive
Current or former grantee
Funded for amount requested
The funder excels at advocacy on the issues it supports, and employs extremely knowledgeable staff who often have experience directly within the sector. That flip side is that knowledge of grantmaking practice itself is weak and the grantmaking processes themselves are often cumbersome and difficult to navigate or more burdensome than they need to be for the grantee. The foundation is also large and dispersed that it can be difficult to find your place - prospective grantees can waste a lot of time getting passed back and forth between different offices and program officers.
This funder makes its grantees pay the wire/bank fee that it incurs when it pays a grant. They do not tell you they will do this ahead of time - your grant just comes in at $15-$25 less than what you were awarded. It is such a small amount of money, I hesitate to mention this, but in 15+ years of fundraising I have never seen another funder that did this and it can be a pain for accounting (b/c the grant no longer matches the award letter). Since this is also one of the wealthiest foundations in the world - charging the fee to grantees, some with very small budgets, also makes them look mean-spirited and cheap, which I don't think is there intention. People would see them in a much better light if they would just pay their own bank fees.
Advocates on the issues it is concerned with. Transparent about the grants it makes. Excellent web presence and communications.
Grant Applicant - applied in 2017
You would be much better off investing in raising unrestricted funds than in trying to work with OSF. Even when they invite a proposal, expect to be put on hold for months, asked to rework the budget for much less than they asked you to request, or both, then wait a few more months, then eventually get so little funding you can't do a decent project--but they still expect you to be innovative,sustainable, and have impact. We've had to float programs for up to 5 months in order to avoid laying off staff because of the gaps between the donor's grants.
Difficult to work with, Bureaucratic
District Of Columbia
Current or former grantee
Funded for lesser amount
I wonder if they are terribly understaffed. They do respond, but only after many, many polite emails and phone calls.
Lower your expectations for what you can accomplish, to get them in line with the funding you are able to award. Hire more staff?