A new report from the Center for Effective Philanthropy explores how funders can strengthen the all-important connections to grantees, and the key role program officers play.

Relationships Matter: Program Officers, Grantees, and the Keys to Success sheds light on what constitutes a strong funder–grantee relationship, as well as what nonprofits say it takes for funders to foster such relationships.

The newly released report includes interviews with 11 program officers who earned top marks, including Elizabeth Love of the Houston Endowment, who is also co-chair of the TFN 2018 Annual Conference in Houston.

Elizabeth Love of the Houston Endowment

“Her first year as an environmental program officer at the Houston Endowment was spent in the field with nonprofit leaders, public officials, and community members learning about the issues and the barriers to making change, as well as the players who might be positioned to move the needle, she said. It was a steep learning curve,” according to a story about the report in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

“What the grantee brings is knowledge, expertise, boots on the ground that can help advance those goals,” Love told The Chronicle. “I always try to acknowledge our respective roles and emphasize that we as the funder don’t have deep subject expertise that the grantee does.”

The other program officers featured in the report:

  • Jamie Allison of the S.H. Cowell Foundation
  • Caroline Altman Smith of the Kresge Foundation
  • Irfan Hasan of the New York Community Trust
  • Jackie Hausman of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation
  • Sarah Lovan of the McKnight Foundation
  • Emiko Ono of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Stacy Parker-Fisher of the Oak Foundation
  • Nicholas Randell of the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation
  • Teresa Rivero of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Graciela Selaimen of the Ford Foundation

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