Coming May 2021

Values Skills Reform

Grantmaking

A practical guide for grantmakers

Our forthcoming book is for anyone who is employed in the curious world of grantmaking, whether you work for a private foundation, a government funder, or a corporate donor.


Grantmaking is such an unusual occupation - giving away freaking money - that we have encountered people who don’t believe that anyone actually gets paid to do it. But grantmaking is a real job, and if you’re reading this, then the odds are that it’s your real job.

Our aim in writing this book is to produce a practical guide that grantmakers can turn to whenever they are looking for some support. To make it quick and easy to use, we’ve filled the book with answers to real-world grantmaking questions.

But it’s about more than handy tips. Every grantmaker can be a reformer too - our book explains why this is so important and how you can get involved.

A book by

Gemma Bull

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Gemma is a nonprofit leader who was previously Funding Strategy Director for the UK's largest community funder, responsible for awarding £600 million every year. She now specialises in supporting organisations to innovate, improve and collaborate.

Tom Steinberg

LinkedIn Twitter

Tom is a nonprofit CEO turned grantmaker who most recently was a senior executive at the National Lottery Heritage Fund. A dual US/UK national, he's seen grantmaking on both sides of the Atlantic.

A book by

Gemma Bull

LinkedIn Twitter

Gemma is a nonprofit leader who was previously Funding Strategy Director for the UK's largest community funder, responsible for awarding £600 million every year. She now specialises in supporting organisations to innovate, improve and collaborate.

Tom Steinberg

LinkedIn Twitter

Tom is a nonprofit CEO turned grantmaker who most recently was a senior executive at the National Lottery Heritage Fund. A dual US/UK national, he's seen grantmaking on both sides of the Atlantic.

Questions explored in the book include:

“How do I know if I’m getting the basics right?”

“How do I address the power and privilege that pervades grantmaking?”

“How can I use research to find out if we are actually making any impact?”

“How can I make sure that our funding is accessible to all grantseekers?”


We know how hard it can be to do a job well that other people think must be easy. We know it isn’t.

Does this book have an agenda?

Why, yes it does. Thanks for asking!

We believe that a lot of what we call ‘traditional grantmaking’ badly needs reform. We’re not alone - the book is full of stories of grantmakers who aren’t content with the status quo, and whose work is increasingly driven by values such as humility, equity, and service.

We think that a lot of the criticism that grantmaking gets - especially from grantees and grantseekers - is justified. This is despite the fact that funding organisations employ many talented and hard-working people, including some of our dearest friends.

However, despite being critical about some current practices, we don’t believe that the solution is to tear down grantmaking and salt the earth.

We want to encourage more people who work in grantmaking to think of themselves as being reformers of the profession, as well as employees. This is what Modern Grantmaking is about: doing the job well, and changing the job at the same time.