The Duke Endowment is committed to making a measurable difference in the lives of people in North Carolina and South Carolina. With complex challenges vexing our communities, achieving this lofty goal is no small feat. Still, we believe a relentless attention to results, effective grantee partnerships and a commitment to learn, adapt and improve will enable the Endowment to fulfill James B. Duke’s vision of a better life in the Carolinas.
Since 2002, the Endowment has commissioned periodic Grantee Perception Reports to improve our partnerships and grantmaking. The survey, administered by the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), examines the Endowment’s relationships with grantees, impact in communities and grantmaking procedures. Results are benchmarked against our findings from previous years, as well as the performance of 250 foundations who have also used the survey.
In 2017, more than 150 grantees provided feedback about our performance. The report shows grantees have positive perceptions of the Endowment, particularly in grantee relationships and advancing field knowledge and practices. Grantees’ ratings place the Endowment among the top 25 percent of foundations in CEP’s dataset in nearly every measure on the survey.
However, in our drive toward continuous improvement, we are turning our attention to findings that show where we have more to learn. Just 57 percent of respondents reported having a substantive discussion with staff about their submitted grant reports.
Grant reports are a tool to promote shared accountability and learning between the Endowment and our grantees. While this proportion is about average for the CEP dataset, it’s much lower than the Endowment would like and shows that we are not maximizing the value of grant reports.