What is Strategic Grant Partners?
SGP is a coalition of Massachusetts families that together have established a common mission of helping improve the lives of children and families in Massachusetts. SPG is a venture philanthropy firm that provides both multi-year grants to promising non-profits and pro bono strategic consulting support to its grantees when needed.
Who are the SGP Partners?
SGP was founded by a handful of individuals who wanted to direct some of their philanthropic dollars towards new strategic initiatives. By combining know how and resources as a collective, partners could perform due diligence in greater depth and efficiency. The collective approach has allowed us to “go deep,” expanding the ability to identify and vet new and promising ideas. At the outset, SGP chose be an anonymous group ensuring that our grant making is focused on the organizations and leaders within non-profit organizations not on those who give to them.
How does one apply for a grant from SGP?
We do not accept unsolicited proposals. Since our goal is to be continually engaged with many members of the non-profit community, we learn about opportunities through colleagues throughout the nation. We welcome ideas and introductions to promising leaders.
Can you describe the SGP grantee selection process?
SGP has a robust consideration and decision making process that entails vetting leadership, the idea and the strategic plan. If needed, our process can involve facilitating a cooperative, intensive strategic planning process with the leadership team resulting in a multi-year organizational strategic plan.
The SGP process also includes a landscape analysis so we understand the existing need for the organization’s services so we fill gaps where effective solutions are not present. We engage other State stakeholders in the review of an issue area and potential grantee to inform our diligence.
If the organization is selected by SGP staff for presentation to the partners, SGP staff will draft a diligence paper for the partners that details the organization, its purpose, the strategic plan, financials, leadership and a grant recommendation for partner consideration. Partners then meet the leadership team to hear firsthand about their plans and to ask questions.
Ultimately the decision to fund any particular grant is made by a collective vote of all of the partners once they have considered the grant and met the leadership team.
All SGP grantees are 501(c)(3) public charities or public entities.
Can you describe the relationship between SGP and its grantees?
SGP carefully vets its grantees, all of which are 501(c)(3) charitable organizations or public entities. Because of SGP’s deep due diligence process and close ongoing relationships with its grantees, SGP is able to carefully monitor the grants to ensure that grant funds are used for their intended purpose. We endeavor to be a helpful strategic advisor to our grantees and are available for ongoing advice and assistance. Each year we evaluate progress against jointly determined grant goals developing an organizational dashboard for our partners to review.
What are the issue areas that SGP supports?
SGP provides grants in multiple issue areas that address improving opportunities for children and families. We support high potential grantees in education, youth to work and careers, family self-sufficiency and child welfare.
SGP funds social entrepreneurs with emerging ideas in order to prove out the effectiveness of new approaches and fund non-profits with proven effectiveness to come to Massachusetts or to scale their work in our state. We work with public system leaders whenever possible to address systemic issues in our systems that can significantly improve services to families in need.
We firmly believe that a quality education is the single most impactful and proven way to change the life trajectory for low income children and young adults because it creates equal access to economic opportunities. The education portfolio at SGP is our largest.
SGP funds are used exclusively for charitable and education purposes and never for lobbying or political activity.