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2007 Grantee Perception Report

October 2007

The McKnight Foundation depends on the work of grantees as key partners in our efforts to improve lives through identified program areas. To enable the most effective collaboration, we are always considering how best to establish and nurture these essential relationships. Critically important in this are our grantees' perceptions of our contributions, as well as their input to help us become a more useful partner.

In fall 2006, McKnight engaged the Center for Effective Philanthropy—a nonprofit research group—to survey our recent grantees. CEP gathered anonymous feedback about various components of our work, including grantmaking process, communications, and overall impact, and then compared our results to grantee perceptions of other foundations around the country, resulting in a Grantee Perception Report.

We were pleased to learn that McKnight is perceived positively by grantees in many respects. Compared with perceptions of other grantmakers, McKnight rated fairly high in terms of our impact on grantees' fields, communities, and organizations, and our advancement of both knowledge and public policy in grantees' individual fields. McKnight compares only typically, however, in terms of grantees' satisfaction with our approachability, fairness, and responsiveness. We also ranked among the national average in perceptions of our ability to clearly and consistently communicate program strategies across audiences and mediums. And McKnight's perceived clarity in communicating—which includes one-on-one interactions among staff and grantees—has declined somewhat since a similar grantee perception survey was conducted in 2003.

In response, we see many opportunities for improvements, particularly regarding how we communicate about our work and foster effective relationships with all grantees. Throughout 2008, we will continue exploring and implementing improvements in several areas of programs and operations. We will also continue sharing information about our work, as we ask for ongoing feedback and input to help us improve.

Ultimately, we believe outcomes from this process can better equip us and all our key partners to fulfill our missions and to sustain vibrant, resilient communities.

2007 Grantee Perception Report

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