The Heising-Simons Foundation supports organizational effectiveness (OE) to help current Foundation grantees address organizational needs in a variety of areas — including talent investment, financial health, strategic communications, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Grants are meant to complement the grantee’s core program grant, and address key and timely organizational priorities. The Foundation’s OE initiatives focus on providing support that is flexible and responsive to grantees’ unique needs.

The Foundation may adjust its OE-related offerings over time based on feedback received from grantees, Foundation program teams, and a triennial grantee survey of overall organizational effectiveness needs.

Please see below for more information about current offerings.

Responsive Grantmaking

The Foundation established two responsive funds for existing grantees that provide timely, one-time grants to address organization-wide or project-specific needs. The funds are:

  • The Organizational Capacity Responsive Fund, which supports organizational capacity development in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); financial health; and talent investment. This Fund is managed and administered by Tides Foundation. Open to applications in the Spring, with decisions made by the Summer.
  • The Communications Responsive Fund, which supports grantees with a variety of internal and external strategic communications tools. This Fund is managed and administered by Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. Open to applications on a rolling basis year-round until resources are depleted.

Grants are intended to fund costs that help grantees initiate activities they would otherwise not be able to fund.

Foundation programs determine which grantees are eligible to apply for the responsive funds. If your organization is eligible, you will receive an email invite. Invitations to apply to the two responsive funds are sent in Spring every year.

Grantees initiate requests to receive support through either fund. Final funding decisions are made by Tides Foundation (for the Organizational Capacity Responsive Fund) and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (for the Communications Responsive Fund).

To access full guidelines for the Organizational Capacity Responsive Fund, please see Tides’ website. To access full guidelines for the Communications Responsive Fund, please see Philanthropic Ventures Foundation’s online portal. Please note: the Tides online portal link will only be live during the Spring when applications are being accepted.

Leadership Development and Organizational Growth

The Foundation believes in investing in the development and sustainability of leaders working at grantee organizations across our program areas, offering opportunities for leadership development, and supporting organizational growth and development. This can include leadership assessment, one-on-one coaching, support in developing a multi-step organizational development plan, and participating in small cohorts for intensive peer learning and support.

If your organization is at an inflection point, we encourage you to reach out to your main Program Officer.

Tailored OE Support

The Foundation works with grantees and consultants to provide in-depth and tailored consultation to selected grantees.

Program staff can nominate grantees for tailored support at any time of the year, and this could include training, coaching, or other OE support for individual grantees or cohorts of grantees. Tailored OE support can cover any OE need, such as professional development, strategic communications, leadership transition, fundraising, business planning, and strategic planning.

If your organization would like to discuss potential tailored OE support, we encourage you to reach out to your main Program Officer.

Trainings and Workshops

The Foundation offers trainings and workshops throughout the year. These opportunities are available to current grantees. If you have questions about any of these offerings, please contact the Organizational Effectiveness team at [email protected].

  • Upcoming Trainings and Workshops

    The Heising-Simons Foundation is delighted to partner with Alliance for Justice (AFJ), a leading national expert on the legal framework for nonprofit advocacy efforts, to make AFJ’s select number of public webinars free to our grantees on a first-come first-serve basis and provide free technical assistance.

To view a list of AFJ’s all upcoming public webinars click here. If you are a current Foundation grantee and would like to obtain free registration, please email [email protected].

Additional Resources

  • The Foundation has developed a list of free communication tools and guides for nonprofits, and will continue to update it as new tools arise. See list here.
  • Additionally, the Foundation’s communication staff are happy to help our grantee partners with obtaining media lists tailored to include journalists working in a specific region or issue-focused beat. If you are interested in utilizing this option, please contact the communications team at [email protected].
  • To access recordings of past webinars, please go here.

Questions? Please contact the Organizational Effectiveness team at [email protected].