One of the exciting moments in the life of a young, small or mid-sized arts organization is when it receives its first, large foundation grant. This grant, a recognition of the good work already being performed, typically allows the organization to expand its programming….
I have long lobbied foundations to make their grants to smaller organizations in the form of challenge grants. A challenge grant must be matched by other contributions, often by new gifts or increased gifts from existing donors. By forcing the organization to build a new, larger donor base during the grant period, the transition when the grant is over is eased. The foundation’s money might be gone but the new donors attracted by the match help fill the void.