2017 Center for Effective Philanthropy Grantee Perception Report

Findings from the 2017 Grantee Perception Survey (GPR)—which was designed to provide comprehensive, actionable feedback for the Foundation—highlight areas of strength and opportunity.

In several areas, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is doing roughly the same or better than in 2015. Findings in other key areas elevate issues to consider in our work moving forward.

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.

Key Findings

  • RWJF compares favorably to philanthropic peers in several key areas. Yet, perceptions of our ability in key areas—including advancing knowledge and clearly communicating about our goals and strategies—signal a need for improvements.

  • We also need to continue to track how grantees rate the Foundation’s ability to understand the social, cultural, or socioeconomic factors affecting their work. Results are down significantly from 2015. This finding underscores the need for funders—whether nationally or otherwise focused—to make every effort to remain aware of local issues that impact our strategies.

  • Perceptions of the Foundation’s work to achieve health equity, a new question asked in 2017, were positive and signal that our focus must remain on ensuring a fair and just opportunity for all to lead a healthy life.

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.