Learn what a grantmaking intermediary does and how to find the perfect one to partner with your company or foundation.
Many companies and foundations making grants internationally choose to work with a grantmaking intermediary. An intermediary provides expertise on local regulations, conducts due diligence for nonprofit partners, reviews grant proposals and reports, and disburses funds internationally, while enabling gifts to be eligible for tax benefits.
How do you find the right grantmaking intermediary for your needs? With 18 years of experience as a grantmaking intermediary for hundreds of companies, GlobalGiving has learned a lot. We recommend comparing six key areas before you commit to a partner for your grantmaking: global reach, services, price, customer support, reputation, and mission.
✓ Where does the grantmaking intermediary work?
Start by looking at location—where would you like to make grants?
- Is the grantmaking intermediary a registered charity in the same country where your company or foundation is based? For example, if your grant budget comes from your US foundation, is the intermediary registered as a US charity?
- Is the grantmaking intermediary registered as a charity, where necessary, in the countries where you wish to make grants?
- Does the intermediary have an on-the-ground presence with country consultants and regular field visits to grantees’ operations?
- Does the intermediary have a regional speciality or a global reach? Do either matter to your team?
- Is there overlap between your desired grantees and their existing nonprofit portfolio?
✓ What services does the grantmaking intermediary provide?
Grantmaking intermediaries perform a range of services. Find out which services are always included and which are only available at an additional cost.
- Can they help you research and identify potential grantees?
- Do they review nonprofit partners with a due diligence process that matches your needs?
- Can they get funds to the ground quickly?
- What level of customer service will they provide your grantees? For example, if your grantee has a question, is there someone on their team who can answer it?
- Can they teach your grantees how to manage a grant and help them access other funding?
- Will they help you measure and grow your impact?
- Will they ensure you comply with local and international regulations?
- Will you be able to view the status for all grants in your portfolio online in real time?
✓ What value do you get for the price?
Pricing structures vary a lot. It’s important to find a partner who can meet your needs at a price that aligns with your budget.
- Will the intermediary make a grant of any amount, or only at a certain threshold?
- Do they charge fees by grant, grantee, and/or grant volume? Do they charge a program management fee?
- What would it cost for your company to do it yourselves?
✓ Will the grantmaking intermediary act as an extension of your team?
The best grantmaking partners will support you every step of the way, so assess their commitment to your success.
- Will you have a dedicated partnership manager and a team of grantmaking experts?
- Do they provide reliable support by phone and email to both you and grantees?
- Will they provide you with guidance and share best practices?
✓ What do others think about the grantmaking intermediary?
Reputation matters, so seek reviews from trusted sources.
- Who are their current and past partners?
- Do their corporate partners have positive things to say?
- Do their grantees have positive things to say?
✓ Why does the grantmaking intermediary do this work?
Find a grantmaking partner whose work is aligned with your grantmaking goals to grow your impact.
- What is their mission?
- Are your goals aligned with theirs?
GlobalGiving’s mission is to transform aid and philanthropy to accelerate community-led change. As a registered charity in the US and the UK, we help hundreds of values-aligned companies and foundations with their global grantmaking needs. Find out if we are the right grantmaking intermediary for you.
Learn more about GlobalGiving’s grantmaking intermediary services.
Featured Photo: Education and empowerment for girls in Guatemala by Asociacion Estrella de Mar