Hunter Consulting LLC

319 Hill Street
Hamden, CT 06514

ph: (+1) 203-214-8949
fax: (+1) 203-287-8013

Funder Services

We help Funders to

  • refine the objectives of their grantmaking and grantee selection criteria
  • structure grants so as to strengthen grantees
  • bring nonfinancial support to grantees
  • use state-of-the-art performance management methods to improve the effectiveness and social return of their grantmaking
  • NEW FOR 2009:  Evaluation Services

Intentionality in Grantmaking 

Funders provide the means for nonprofits to operate.  The reasons behind grantmaking, and the manner in which funds are granted, therefore have a tremendous impact on the viability and productiveness of the nonprofit sector.  In the article The End of Charity published recently in the new, web based Philladelphia Social Innovation Journal, David develops the idea that funders must stop "giving away" grant moneys and start making wise investments. 

The premise of Hunter Consulting LLC is that, as a funder,

  • it should be your intention to make investments that result in the creation of social value.  In other words, you should want to see your funds well spent on organizations whose programs actually, demonstrably produce outcomes
  • it should be your responsibility to provide funding to effective nonprofits in such a way that minimizes transaction costs while supporting all organizational capacities.  In other words, you should fund the organization as a whole (including administrative costs, infrastructure costs, operating reserve, and capital costs), not simply give program dollars. 
  • you should be accountable for using metrics that provide a meaningful way to understand whom your social investments have helped and what they have produced.  In other words, you should understand the social value of your grantmaking.

What Intentional Funders Do

Intentional Funders are Social Investors.  Funders work on a continuum from charitable giving, to strategic grantmaking, to social investing.  David Hunter has developed a schematic means to capture both the essential characteristics that differentiate these approaches to grantmaking, and the likelihood that each approach will create social value.  Recently, David co-authored, with Steve Butz, a Guide to Effective Social Investing.  And together they have been developing and testing a protocol to assess the potential of a nonprofit organization to deliver measuable social value (or, conversety, the risk that an investment in a given nonprofit will not create messurable social value).

An Example of Consulting to a Foundation

Recently, David Hunter conducted a Theory of Change Workshop with an Anonymous Foundation in Israel.

This foundation dates back to the country's inception and has a long history of charitable giving to promote and support Israel as a democratic and Jewish society.  Initially the foundation invested in a broad spectrum of initiatives, and over time recognized that it could improve its effectiveness by sharpening its strategic focus.

Using THS™ workshops and follow-up sessions this foundation developed and is implementing a tiered approach to its grantmaking.  Moving forward, the foundation will make much bigger, longer, and capacity-building investments (rather than program grants) in a few, carefully selected domains - using rigorous selection criteria, a Theory of Change process, and the implementation of data tracking and performance management systems from the very beginning. 

As part of this work the foundation is also instituting a highly intentional program of organizational learning in order to improve the effectiveness of this social investment approach, and also to help strengthen Israel’s social sector through the dissemination of evidence-based practices that are engendered by and documented through its grantmaking.

tips for funders

Interested in benchmarking the programs you support against other similar programs?

Read a benchmarking report about Roca Inc.'s Transitional Employment Program that considers six variables and concludes pessimistically that most benchmark studies should be treated as at best suggestive.

How likely is your Initiative to be effective?

Assess your Initiative against this check-list of indicators that drive toward success. 

Effective grantmaking relies on performance management to drive up the social value of grants and contracts.  

paper delivered to a visiting delegation from Denmark considers how to apply performance management in ways that are meaningful to both the public and social sectors.   


Please refer to the lower part of our Links page. 

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319 Hill Street
Hamden, CT 06514

ph: (+1) 203-214-8949
fax: (+1) 203-287-8013