Charity Navigator ranks nonprofits based on their overhead ratio (as in the amount of money spent on operations versus the mission), but as a recent study from North Carolina State University shows, a low overhead ratio is not always an effective way to measure a nonprofit's efficiency. Accordingly, funders, volunteers, and the general public often have the pervasive idea that all of a nonprofits funds should flow directly to the cause. This can lead to the dreaded Starvation Cycle: A state in which a nonprofit consistently keeps overhead costs so low that it impedes their current and future impact potential.
Program-related investments (PRIs) are THE hot topic right now. Foundations from coast to coast are deploying PRI programs – enabling their teams to expand beyond traditional grantmaking, and ultimately empowering nonprofits and for-profits to work with these foundations in new ways.
Grant management and grant approval processes vary depending on a foundation's focus (think government, medical research, or social and societal needs) and their grantees. But one thing is certain: everyone wants to ease the burden of the grants process – making a once arduous task quick and efficient for both grantees and employees alike. After all, the faster a grant is dispersed to enact real change, the better for everyone.