This paper, jointly developed with Laudes Foundation, examines the use of core grants – a flexible funding mechanism with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. In it, author Rod MacLeod defines the core grant concept, how such grants are used, and their strengths. The paper then examines their weaknesses, and seeks to explain their limited adoption.
The paper concludes that core grants, if properly deployed, can have a transformative impact on recipient organisations. They can enable both donors and recipients to achieve their objectives more effectively. Such successes depend, the paper argues, on a courage to take risks, to accept reduced control, to take a broader view about measuring impact, and to be honest about potential downsides.