Foundations that have been grantmaking in traditional ways are beginning to explore the idea of Flow Funding. Foundations and their grantees are seeing the limitations of quantitative measures of effectiveness and investigating new approaches to giving effective grants.  

To more deeply understand the effectiveness of Flow Funding, download:


Why Flow Fund?

There are a variety of good reasons why Foundations may want to begin Flow Funding:

  • Flow funding is a way to bring more trust, surprise, delight and discovery into a Foundation’s giving.
  • Flow Funding allows large amounts of money to flow out in a sane and meaningful way through many small grassroots grants. 
  • Flow Funding is a way to democratize philanthropy by giving more people the opportunity to practice philanthropy.
  • It is a way to have a foundation’s money reach numerous new beneficiaries who are chosen by people with extensive grassroots experience.
  • It is a chance to practice ‘capillary’ philanthropy.  
  • Flow Funding is a way to empower initiators and visionaries to be philanthropists.


Quotes from traditional philanthropists who are new to Flow Funding



Downlaod the PDF transcript from the 2005 Council on Foundations Conference: “The Power & Role of Intuition in Powerful Grantmaking.” Participants included: William Ryan, from The Hauser Center for Non-Profit Organizations at Harvard University; Chet Tchozewski, the Executive Director of Global Greengrants Fund ; and Gayle Williams, of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

For additional examples of innovations in philanthropy, see our Resources section.


Examples of Flow Funding by Foundations


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