2015 Center for Effective Philanthropy Grantee Perception Report

Findings from the 2015 Grantee Perception Survey (GPR)—which was designed to provide comprehensive, actionable feedback for the Foundation—paint a generally positive picture.

In most areas, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is doing roughly the same or better than in 2013.

The Issue

Since 2006, RWJF has partnered with the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) every other year to survey grantees about their perceptions of, and experience with, the Foundation. Responses are compiled into CEP’s Grantee Perception Report (GPR), which is designed to provide comprehensive, actionable feedback for the Foundation.

RWJF plans to explore these identified through the GPR more deeply in our forthcoming reputation survey, which we expect to field in 2016.

Key Findings

  • In most areas, RWJF is doing roughly the same or better than in 2013, comparing favorably to philanthropic peers in several key areas.
  • We need to track how grantees rate the Foundation in providing objective information. On this question, results are similar to 2013, but down from 2011. This finding could be explained by the new Culture of Health strategy, which may be viewed as a shift away from RWJF’s legacy of work providing timely and objective analyses in key fields.
  • The clarity of guidelines about funding priorities fell significantly in 2015. This was expected given RWJF’s new strategic direction. We will look for this question to swing upward in subsequent years.

About the Study

The survey includes a range of questions that are fielded among grantees of all 300 foundations that participate in the in the GPR, as well as some questions that are only asked of RWJF’s grantees.