October 2023

What do Greenwall Grantees and Applicants Have to Say?

In 2022, The Greenwall Foundation partnered with the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) to conduct a survey of our recent grantees and applicants to learn more about their perceptions of the Foundation and its programs. The results provided a valuable assessment of the Foundation’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. Read on for a look into these findings (or view a summary presentation of the data here), including how the results have and will continue to impact how we do our work.

Grantmaking Focus

Many of our grantees shared that their research may not have been funded elsewhere, highlighting the Foundation’s unique ability to fill gaps and support important bioethics research that otherwise might not be funded. They also pointed out that the Foundation supports projects with investigators from a wide range of academic fields, underscoring the intellectual diversity of bioethics and our efforts to understand it through a broad lens.

Impact on Grantees

Moreover, around a quarter of grantees described receiving non-monetary support from the Foundation, like mentorship and an expanded professional network. In addition, they reported that their Foundation-supported projects often have an impact beyond their initial scope. Grant recipients reported that, as a result of Foundation funding, they developed (among other things):

  • new ideas for subsequent research,
  • new collaborations with research partners, and
  • elevated professional visibility and professional opportunities.

Impact on the Grantees’ Fields

Grantees also indicated that the Foundation has a strong positive impact on their respective fields of study. Respondents’ perceptions of the Foundation’s ability to advance the state of knowledge in their fields placed the Foundation in the top 5% of similar grantmakers. When asked about the Foundation’s impact on public policy in their fields, respondents placed the Foundation in the top quartile of similar organizations.

Opportunities for Improvement

The CEP survey also presented the Foundation with a valuable opportunity to understand how we can better support our grantees, applicants, and the field.

We heard suggestions, for example, to deepen and clarify the Foundation’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Grantees and applicants both conveyed that the Foundation could improve the way we communicate our efforts to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in the work we do and the projects we fund. In acknowledgment of this feedback and in alignment with our strategic priority to shape and support a broad and inclusive bioethics, we have sought to be more transparent about how diversity, equity, and inclusion shape what we do. You can read more here.

We also received feedback that we can do better to streamline and clarify grantmaking processes. To that end, we have continued to refine our procedures while improving our communication of existing ones. We are working to improve feedback mechanisms for declined applicants upon request. Additionally, we created a ‘Tips for Applying’ video for the Making a Difference Program to help clarify the process of submitting a letter of intent and provide support for new applicants.

Grantees told us that they would appreciate more non-monetary benefits in conjunction with their funding support, such as networking and mentorship. Our first live webinar, which we held earlier this year, highlighted impactful research by some of our grantees and is part of our effort to encourage and facilitate connections among grantees and others in the field.

We appreciate the candid feedback that we received and continue to consider and discuss it among our staff, Board, and other stakeholders. The Foundation continues to strive for growth and improvement; you can contact us any time to share your thoughts here.