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We equip funders and philanthropic professionals with the tools and skills they need to become effective and impactful grantmakers.

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The Challenges of Effective Grantmaking

  • High-stakes decisions: choosing between urgent causes to support, knowing more funding will always be needed

  • Imperfect information: finding high-quality data to guide your decisions, often in data-poor and opaque environments 

  • Building expertise: developing the necessary skills and knowledge of grantmaking, which ultimately takes time and dedicated effort

Our Solution

  • Actionable skills: proven frameworks and methodologies for effective grantmaking developed by experienced practitioners

  • Personalized support: one-on-one coaching and feedback that tailors our curriculum to your specific goals

  • Network and community: a supportive and motivating cohort of peer grantmakers, and a broad array of past participants eager to connect

What Our Program Entails

  • A nine-week program with weekly readings, projects, and online group discussion (altogether ~6 hours per week)

  • 1-on-1 coaching sessions with program staff and outside experts specialized in the skills and subjects that matter to you

  • One week in-person halfway through the program, dedicated to hands-on practicums, tackling tough grantmaking scenarios, and dialogue with experts on a range of topics 

  • A final project that advances your personal and professional grantmaking goals (for inspiring examples of past final projects, reach out to our team to start a conversation)

What We Cover

The program seeks to develop the grantmaker’s capacity for high-stakes decision making. The content will include:

  • Defining your values:  identifying what intrinsically motivates your giving and informs your philanthropic focus

  • Decision-making under pressure: applying the foundations of rationality, the scientific method, and good "rules of thumb" (heuristics) to your philanthropy

  • Cutting through the noise: identifying reliable information and experts in the grantmaking world and in your specific cause areas 

  • Measuring what matters: gaining practical skills in cost-effectiveness analysis and creating clear frameworks (weighted-factor models) to assess grant proposals effectively

  • Tracking your impact: exploring different forms of monitoring and evaluation as a grantmaker 

  • Building your team: learning strategies for vetting and hiring staff

  • Exploring new ventures: gaining skills for assessing early-stage organizations - a crucial role for forward-thinking philanthropists with a higher risk tolerance

  • Thinking outside the box: considering unconventional grantmaking strategies that can unlock new possibilities for impact

Who We're Geared Towards

  • Aspiring grantmakers: the assets are there, but you’re still trying to make a plan for kicking things off

  • Refreshing grantmakers: you’re not new to grantmaking, but you’re seeking new tools to maximize your effectiveness (and peers to do that alongside)

  • Philanthropic advisors: you’re a trusted donor advisor, and you want to make sure you’re giving the best (and most up-to-date) guidance possible

If you are interested in learning more about the Foundation Program, feel free to send us your questions and we'll get back to you asap.


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After the program, many participants go on to join one of our cause-specific funding circles. These circles foster community and continued learning. Giving effectively is a lifelong practice, and it can be helpful to cement what you’ve learned in the Grantmaking Program with a community of funders dedicated to high-impact giving in your area of interest. 

For more information, check out our Funding Circles page or contact Will (Philanthropic Programs Manager)


Before starting this program, I thought success as a funder was just about identifying good ideas. Through AIM Grantmaking, I learned that there is so much more to it than that. From influencing the overall funding landscape to conducting strong monitoring and evalutation, there are many important considerations and opportunities for having a positive impact as a grantmaker.

It is too hard to capture the full effect of this course in a short paragraph. It has changed the lens I use to look at world. It has started growth, both personal and professional, that will continue for a lifetime.

Deep gratitude to the whole team. I am definitely in a much better place now than before. I know I'll be a better steward of the org thanks to the work you did.

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