Strengthening Grantee Effectiveness: The Hyde Family Foundations

Grantmakers for Education



Case Study Sector


Operated as a pair of philanthropic funds, the Hyde Family Foundations works to improve the quality of life in Memphis, Tennessee. In order to counteract persistent socioeconomic and racial barriers and improve opportunities for underserved families in Memphis, the foundations have made improving the city’s education system a priority of its grantmaking. Each year, the foundations award grants totaling over $10 million; of this amount, $4 million is designated to K-12 education initiatives.
Recognizing that a grantmaker is effective only when its grantees are effective, this case study is intended to help funders consider ways of promoting effective grantees, one of Grantmakers for Education’s Principles for Effective Education Grantmaking. The case study illustrates a number of practices—including the importance of ensuring strong leadership at grantee organizations, brokering relationships between grantee organizations and donor and civic leaders, providing technical assistance, convening community stakeholders to support grantees, creating learning communities to link and network grantees, and setting clearly defined goals and performance expectations for grantees—that can support and build the capacity of grantees and lead to greater impact. In addition, it underscores the importance of human capital, talent, and leadership to grantee success, whether the grantee is a nonprofit organization or a publicly funded school or institution.



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