FY 2015 Program Plan Assumptions

Regarding the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Environment

Weingart Foundation’s FY 2015 Program Plan Assumptions highlight our assessment of the environment that the nonprofit and philanthropic communities will be operating in over the next 12-18 months. This information is then used to develop and prioritize our grantmaking strategies for the coming year and form the basis of our FY 2015 Program Plan. Our process for developing these Assumptions includes identifying needs, opportunities and trends within the Southern California nonprofit community, primarily through frequent and ongoing communication with our grantees, a survey of the year’s letters of inquiry and grant applications, and a number of focus groups with grantees.


  • High levels of service demand, combined with limited and unpredictable funding will continue to challenge the capacity of most Weingart Foundation grantees attempting to maintain or increase services.
  • In addition to funding concerns, grantees will continue to report other internal and external challenges that hinder their organizational effectiveness. This includes issues related to: board governance; leadership development; adaptive capacity; financial management; staffing; facilities and technology; and program learning and assessment.
  • Continuing Weingart Foundation’s responsive grantmaking approach will help build the organizational effectiveness of the Foundation’s grantees.
  • Core support grants are one of the most effective ways to build organizational capacity that can lead to improved program outcomes. Flexible, unrestricted funding provides the capital nonprofits need to sustain and improve their operations and necessary infrastructure.
  • Effective nonprofit organizations will demonstrate an ability and commitment to achieving:
    • A sustainable mission and vision;
    • A qualified, engaged and supportive board of directors;
    • Strong leadership and management;
    • A well trained and supported staff;
    • A strategy to accomplish its mission, operate high-impact programs, and learn from results;
    • The ability to identify and adapt to internal and external changes;
    • A funding model that can support core programs and services;
    • An appropriate level of cash reserves to sustain the organization.

We are greatly interested in your thoughts and reactions regarding our FY 2015 Program Plan Assumptions. For example, are these findings consistent with your organization’s experience, or do you have a different perspective? Are there important trends or factors that we are missing? Click here to provide your feedback.