Social sector organizations need a “healthy diet” of funding to achieve maximum impact, a concept neatly captured by the Grantmaking Pyramid now used by the Ford Foundation.
Communities in Schools (CIS) is the largest and most effective US organization dedicated to keeping disadvantaged kids in school and helping them succeed in life. Founded in the 1970s, today CIS serves 1.5 million students in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Some 91 percent of these students graduate from high school, a success rate that has earned CIS widespread acclaim. Yet, in the early 2000s, CIS found out the hard way that grant-fueled growth does not ensure operational efficiency or financial health. Just the opposite.