Funder-Grantee Relationships

Grade Level: 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Youth Advisory Committee
Video Clip and Discussion Guide: When a foundation gives money to help a nonprofit carry out its mission or project, the funder and grantee are helping each other make a difference for something they both care about. A healthy funder-grantee relationship is a partnership. Both need the other to do good.

Anticipatory Set

Do you have a great idea to make something better? Is money the only thing holding you back? If you write a grant proposal and get funding, you become a grantee. The funder who gave you the money saw greatness in your idea and wanted to be part of that. What do you think makes the funder-grantee relationship work? This video gives some ideas.



  1. Why do you think it is important for the funder to know its grantee well, even what their office looks like?
  2. Why does a funder need a grantee to be successful? 
  3. What is operating support?
  4. Describe what multi-year funding does for both members of the funder-grantee relationship.
  5. What is the role of thank you notes, and what should be included? 
  6. Give an example of a great idea for solving a problem that needs money to help it be successful. In what way does the foundation help a grantee demonstrate greatness? 

Follow-Up Activity

Is there a public hiking trail in your area that needs work? Does it have a lot of fallen wood, unmarked trails, or need clean up? Maybe it could use a map with information about its history or plantlife. Write a plan and include costs and a timeline to make the trail better for the whole community. What could you do, and how do you think you could get the money to carry it out?