Consulting with funders to recommend grantee portfolios

3 April 2024
This concept note and practice guide provide a structured process for consulting with funders to develop and recommend grantee portfolios, as demonstrated through OTT Consulting’s work with philanthropic organisations.

The guide outlines a five-stage process encompassing scoping, research and alignment, scenario development, final recommendations, and follow-ups. Each stage involves collaborative efforts between the consultant and the client, from understanding the client’s priorities and conducting thorough research to developing potential funding scenarios and making final grantee recommendations.

Key strategies highlighted include maintaining ongoing alignment with the client’s objectives, developing scenarios based on research and client feedback, and finalising recommendations that align with the client’s strategic goals and funding criteria. Challenges such as establishing clear priorities, managing assumptions, and navigating tight timelines are also addressed, with insights on best practices for overcoming these obstacles.

The document emphasises the importance of understanding the client’s organisational context, risk tolerance, and impact horizon, alongside considerations for potential grantees’ alignment with the funder’s strategy and ethos. Lessons learned cover the importance of clear communication, setting realistic expectations, and tailoring recommendations to the client’s needs and preferences.

This guide serves as a valuable resource for consultants and funders alike, offering a comprehensive overview of the collaborative process involved in creating effective and strategic grantee portfolios. The guide was produced by Maya Richardson on the basis of work led by Jenny Lah and Linnea Mills. For those interested in learning more about this methodology and its application in philanthropic funding, the full document is available for download.

Read here.