Kathleen Enright has been a champion, over the past decade, of funder effectiveness. She has never shied away from telling it like it is, calling on foundations to take the steps necessary to work in productive partnership with their grantees to maximize their impact.
While doing so, she has built Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) into one of the most influential organizations in the field. GEO’s latest major initiative on “Scaling What Works” builds on what the organization does best – creating communities of funders that learn from each other, and challenging them to then take the necessary actions to improve their effectiveness. It’s an important initiative, and I look forward to watching how it unfolds.
Kathleen and I have sought to work together to move forward our organizations’ shared agendas, recognizing that our organizations are complementary: that we need each other to achieve our goals. Kathleen has been instrumental in CEP’s success. We at CEP would not have found our way onto conference agendas in the early years of our history without Kathleen’s advocacy, which raised our profile and helped generate interest in our first assessment tool, the Grantee Perception Report (GPR).
We have coordinated our workplanning over the years and even – don’t tell our funders – shared insights on who to approach, and how, for grant support. We have also sought, with less success, to figure out how we collectively make the case to more funders that support for improving the effectiveness of philanthropy should be a priority.
I know of no better colleague, and no more powerful voice for funders to improve their effectiveness, than Kathleen Enright. I am delighted that she’ll be our guest blogger on the CEP Blog in the coming days.