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We can help you…

  • Define your grantmaking strategies
  • Steer your way through times of succession and transition
  • Articulate your priorities and policies
  • Implement intergenerational decision-making and engagement


  • Conducting foundation assessments of giving practice and organizational culture
  • Facilitating retreats, seminars, or workshops
  • Educating trustees and staff on best practices and helping to distinguish fads from useful innovation in grantmaking strategies
  • Reviewing and helping formulate appropriate policies
  • Working independently or in conjunction with your existing professional team

Our strategy services are based on what has become known as The Marker Method. It is built on the awareness that decision-making requires an understanding of the “culture” of fellow decision makers, and implementing an approach which accounts for their diversity. Unlike most “strategic planning models,” this method does not start with “mission/vision” but rather with a careful review of the underlying styles and inclinations, and only then proceeds to define focus areas and grantmaking approaches.

While most planning processes get to the same place, eventually, this method has helped many address the experience so many funders have had of agreeing on “mission” but still disagreeing with the selection of grantees.

In the past few years, we have found the need to align many competing and different parts of the strategy process. We fully respect that each funder organization or foundation has its own priorities. We help align those priorities with effective and ethical grantmaking strategies. Because of our distinctive experience as educators, practitioners, and advisors, we can call upon a wealth of approaches, highlight potential pitfalls, and help identify what successful funding might look like. Contemporary social innovation and alternative funding models may indeed be correct for some; for others, more traditional grantmaking and grantee relations will be more fitting.

We have been fortunate to have had direct involvement with a number of venture philanthropy projects, national and local partnerships and mergers, startups and mature organizations, and many going though transitions.

Good and effective funding may sometimes prove a challenge, but we never lose sight of the fact that it is a blessing to be able to help make at least some part of the world better for our beneficence.