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Gw/oB's Programs

Grantmakers Without Borders is committed to helping funders remove barriers they face in making grants for social change in the developing world. Tapping into the experience and know-how of our members, Gw/oB provides peer-to-peer support to individuals and institutions new to funding internationally, showing how international grantmaking can be done and leading funders to innovative, effective overseas work.

At the same time, Gw/oB is committed to improving not just the quantity, but also the quality, of US grantmaking. Grantmakers Without Borders thus also serves as a forum for the examination of good practices in international grantmaking and provides a space for continued education and community among donors already committed to international funding. In particular, Gw/oB encourages funders to explore social change philanthropy.

Grantmakers Without Borders' programs currently include:


Annual Conference ----- Open to members and non-members. Gw/oB's annual conference has become a preeminent event on the international grantmaking calendar, bringing together a diverse range of funders and activists from around the world to learn about social change issues and to discuss best practices in international grantmaking. Members help organize the conference, and they receive significant discounts on registration. Gw/oB's 2008 conference convenes in San Francisco June 8th to 10th and will explore grantmaker responses to climate change and natural resource depletion.

Tools and resources ----- For members and non-members. Over time, Gw/oB is developing a wide range of in-depth, user-friendly written materials, workshops, studies, and other tools and resources that address a wide range of international grantmaking concerns. These tools and resources provide the content for a range of learning venues that Gw/oB convenes. Gw/oB's philanthropic learning activities strive to go beyond the more transactional and operational aspects of international grantmaking to explore issues of values, culture, race, class, and gender. Gw/oB members help Gw/oB prioritize what materials are most needed for their work, and they are essential resources in the development of these tools and resources. Members receive discounts on materials or services for which Gw/oB must charge.

Learning Calls ----- For members only. Gw/oB offers periodic conference call workshops to engage in thinking and dialogue on best practices in grantmaking, emerging issues in key international grantmaking areas, and current events and policies that concern global grantmakers.

Global Southern Inclusion ----- For members and non-members. We understand that many of our members are deeply committed to being as responsive as possible to grantee needs, but that obstacles exist to that aspiration. Gw/oB will continue working with members and allies in the global South to explore new models for Northern grantor/Southern grantee relationships, aspiring to create grantmaking paradigms that are genuinely accountable, transparent, respectful, open, trusting and inclusive and which shift power to the grassroots. Members and their grantees will be able to participate in this critical work.

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Membership Directory ----- For members only. Gw/oB members receive a Membership Directory, providing key contact information on Gw/oB's members and featuring a Field of Interest Guide. Available only to members, the directory highlights programmatic foci of member institutions as well as information on the personal experiences, expertise and passions of individuals in Gw/oB's diverse membership, to facilitate networking and peer-to-peer dialogue and support.

Interest area networking groups ----- For members only. At the request of members, Gw/oB facilitates interest area networking groups that focus on a particular geographic region, grantmaking issue, or other topic of concern to a subset of members who are interested in networking. Gw/oB offers a listserv for the interest area network and dedicated space on our website, and we coordinate conference calls, live meetings at Gw/oB's annual conference and elsewhere, and other means of contact. Currently, Gw/oB is facilitating the Meso-America Grantmakers Group.

Listserv and blog ----- For members only. Gw/oB will soon begin maintaining a listserv for members interested in having a place to share information, pose questions, or seek assistance from others in the network. This will be complemented with a members-only blog, where grantmakers can share reports, studies, and other news and information to further networking and knowledge exchange.

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The Weekly Planet ---- For members and non-members. Gw/oB's popular e-newsletter is filled with practical, easy-to-read news and information for international grantmakers, offering "one stop shopping" for busy grantmakers wanting to stay in-the-know. The Weekly Planet is written with members' needs and interests in mind, and members are invited to contribute postings to share information and news with others. An edited non-member version is also distributed.

China Philanthropy News ---- For members and non-members. Gw/oB produces a monthly e-newsletter focused on issues of concern to grantmakers interested in China, including news, helpful resources, book reviews and interviews with China grantmakers and civil society leaders.

Philanthropic consultations and referrals --- For members and non-members. Foundations and donors often come to Gw/oB for advice and support on international grantmaking issues. Tapping our extensive networks, Gw/oB can assist grantmakers on a range of tasks, from developing a giving strategy, to identifying grantees, to understanding legal and technical issues in international grantmaking.

Clearinghouse for low-cost translation services, legal services and on-the-ground consultants ---- For members only. Gw/oB will soon begin vetting for and compiling a resource directory for translation, in-country project monitoring and evaluation, legal aid, and other consulting services that international grantmakers might employ in their work. This clearinghouse will be regularly updated to ensure a consistently high quality of performance among vetted resources.

Knowledge Center ----- For members only. Gw/oB's Knowledge Center is being developed as an emporium for all things related to international grantmaking, a place where documents such as grant agreement letters, proposal formats, personnel policies and other documents used by members will be housed and shared. Resources from the donor education program will also be accessed through the Knowledge Center.

Annual Member Survey ----- For members only. Where in the world are Gw/oB members making grants? How much are Gw/oB members spending on administration? What are competitive salaries for various foundations positions? These and other questions will be answered regularly through an annual Member Survey. This members-only resource will allow Gw/oB members to get up-to-date information on current practices and trends in the field. It will allow Gw/oB to better respond to members needs and to do detailed tracking of the international grantmaking field.

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A forum for policy advocacy on international grantmaking concerns ----- For members only. The Advocacy Program focuses on legal and regulatory issues for international grantmaking. Through the Advocacy Committee, Gw/oB members are provided with a space to engage in such issues as the Voluntary Treasury Guidelines and congressional actions that impact grantmaking. With an on-the-ground presence in Washington, DC, Gw/oB keeps its members abreast of key international grantmaking policy issues. Over time, Gw/oB hopes to become a respected voice among policy makers on issues of concern to our members and the international grantmaking community.

Trainings, briefings and updates ----- Trainings for members and non-members; briefings and updated for members only. Gw/oB issues a monthly members-only Advocacy Update on key legislative issues that affect international grantmaking. Conference calls and briefings are convened to update and brief members on policy issues and to offer advice and training. Gw/oB is also creating a curriculum for lawyers and philanthropic advisors on the legal issues for issuing international grants. Ultimately, this will help raise awareness on international grantmaking and improve the quality of service provides by these resources.