Equity, Real Costs, and Impact

GWP Members Only Program
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
9:00am to 12:00pm EDT
Koppers Building, E. Graham Room
436 Seventh Avenue
Lower Level
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Recently many foundations have increased their focus on the issues of equity, inclusive economies, and opportunity for all. Funders have changed their grantmaking priorities and program areas, engaged in listening tours, and come together to pool resources to make progress on some of the most important issues of our time. However, just changing what grantmakers fund may not be enough. Grantmakers may also need to change how they make grants if they want to move the needle on equity, inclusion and opportunity. GWP has invited David Greco, former director of California’s Real Cost Project and previously a Vice President of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, to share his perspective on how funders can create a more sustainable and effective social sector.
David contends that funders will never achieve their community goals with outdated grantmaking practices and policies that neglect investments in nonprofit capacity and infrastructure. When funding doesn't cover the full cost of delivering programs, nonprofits close the gap through sweat equity – they overwork and underpay their people, relying on volunteer and in-kind support. Staff are asked to deliver on a wide range of funder, government, and board expectations while using outdated computer systems, slow internet service and leaking offices. Aiming for "opportunity for all" this way is no path to success.
How can funders adapt their application processes, due diligence work and overall grantmaking approach to better support impact without exploiting the sweat equity of their grantees? How can grantmakers better engage in conversations around the programmatic and financial needs of the organizations that serve economically and socially disadvantaged communities?

Join us for this program where we expect an engaging dialogue on what it takes to revitalize grantmaking practices and better support equity goals.


Join us for a deeper-dive in a workshop format including a mix of presentation, interactive Q&A, with small group work and discussion.  This engaging workshop will help grantmakers – even those who have been doing this work for some time – drive impact without exploiting the sweat equity of their grantees; gain a better understanding of what it really cost grantees to deliver on mission; and reveal how grant funding can unintentionally undermine equity goals.


David Greco is a nationally recognized speaker, author and consultant on creating a more sustainable and effective social sector.  In 2013, David founded Social Sector Partners to provide training and development to funders and nonprofits to develop a culture of sustainability that incorporates real cost, sustainable business models, and a focus on impact.  He has trained thousands of social sector leaders on financial sustainability and provided training for staff and grantees for dozens of foundations across the country. Most recently, David led the Real Cost Project in California, a statewide initiative that aims to increase the number of funders providing real cost funding. He also served as Interim President and CEO for Northern California Grantmakers and was previously the Vice President of the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) for more than 5 years. He is a professor with Pepperdine University in the Masters in Social Entrepreneurship and Change program and the author of "Think Money First! Ending the Culture of Scarcity and Achieving Real Impact”. 

Sylia Obagi, Founder of The Generative Group, is a management consultant for the social sector. She is an innovator, coalition builder and hands-on manager of philanthropic-inspired change. With over a decade of direct executive experience in philanthropy, including leading two significant grantmakers in Los Angeles, Sylia has first-hand knowledge, real world experiences, and tools to guide clients to achieve their desired goals and impact. Sylia is a certified Social Transformation Project consultant specializing in leadership development, organizational change, governance, and sustainability. She helps drive transformational change by working with clients to identify the constellation of factors that must be addressed to facilitate deep change within an organization system, and to do so from a place of authenticity and alignment with their core values.  She both challenges and supports leaders to innovate, disrupt conventional definitions and divisions, and generate new possibilities and fearless approaches to achieve positive social change.