Creative and Effective

What does an open source text message system have in common with a forum for policy wonks and academics to meet? How about an organization that stops destructive river dams from being built and a documentary film company?

One answer to what they have in common is that these are four of the thirteen grantees named by the MacArthur Foundation as "Creative and Effective Organizations." The text messages come from Ushahidi and The Tobin Project brings together academics and policy makers. International Rivers stops the dams and American Documentary makes the movies.

So, in an age of strategic philanthropy, focus, and outcomes - how does this program of rewarding such institutions make sense? Who picks these organizations and what criteria do they use?

The Foundation makes these grants to organizations it already funds. These are one-time grants, used to acknowledge and strengthen institutions that are seen by foundation staff as particularly important to the fields in which the Foundation works. 

In the language of the Foundation, these are institutional grants - they "enable long range organizational planning and greater financial stability." The Foundation says it looks for organizations within its portfolio that are at a critical moment in their development. The funds are most often used, according to the Foundation, to establish or add to an endowment or an operating reserve.

"Creative" and "Effective" are good descriptions of the organizations chosen. Long term, smart support would be a good name for the Foundation's strategy in choosing them. 


enable long-range organizational planning and greater financial stability. - See more at: http://www.macfound.org/programs/macei/strategy/#sthash.fEmaeCzv.dpuf
enable long-range organizational planning and greater financial stability. - See more at: http://www.macfound.org/programs/macei/strategy/#sthash.fEmaeCzv.dpuf
enable long-range organizational planning and greater financial stability. - See more at: http://www.macfound.org/programs/macei/strategy/#sthash.fEmaeCzv.dpuf


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