Announcement, Insights, News

Centering Equity With Full Diligence Grant

Mar 14, 2022


“That’s not normal, in the best way” – Nonprofit leader

Every year in each GreenLight Fund site, we partner with the community to identify and select programs with successful track records from around the country that can best meet the community-identified need we are seeking to address. For organizations selected to go through the last stage of the process, what we call full diligence, it requires considerable time and effort.

To help us make an informed decision on what to invest in based on community need, local fit and ability to reach impact goals, GreenLight’s full diligence includes preparing and completing multi-day site visits, developing a custom, multi-year local budget, preparing financial and impact assessments, developing initial local partnership proposals, and responding to questions and requests.

Our experience implementing the GreenLight Method has grown, having implemented the process more than 40 times across the country. We’ve collected data, had conversations with organizations we’ve selected and those we haven’t, and reflected on our process and what we ask of organizations we consider for selection. With that reflection and analysis, we are very pleased to share this news.

Starting in January, 2022, GreenLight now provides an unrestricted Full Diligence Grant to each organization we bring through full diligence, typically two to three in each site in each selection cycle. The grant removes barriers for organizations to proceed into full diligence and appreciates and acknowledges the work necessary and value we gain from what we learn. The feedback so far from nonprofit organization leaders has been extremely positive.

We recognize that to go through full diligence with GreenLight requires a significant investment of time and resources from the participating organizations which often have limited staff capacity. In addition, we benefit from the learnings gained during the process such as creative solutions and innovative partnerships teams have used to scale impact and ways to think about and work towards systems change. Those valuable learnings come from many organizations, including those not ultimately selected. GreenLight has always believed in deeply partnering with our portfolio organizations and the trust-based relationships we seek to build begin during the selection process. For all of these reasons, we are proud to include this new unrestricted grant into our selection process.

This new policy aligns with GreenLight’s values, our commitment to centering equity and how we seek to build trust-based partnerships. We hope trends in the philanthropic sector will continue to move in this direction and encourage other funders to put practices in place that lead towards more equitable processes.