NFF Philosophy

NFF Funder ServicesOur three overlapping practice areas, Capital Access Services, Innovative Practice Groups, and Research & Fact Finding, are inspired by our commitment to create a more stable nonprofit sector that's better positioned to deliver on mission. Working with us, our funder clients are better able to:
  • Embrace a "whole enterprise" perspective in grantmaking, one that takes into account the viability of the organization and the role of the grant within it.
  • Ensure that grantees have access to all the kinds of capital they need for success and sustainability, including loans and other alternative resouces to complement grant dollars.
  • Incorporate a financial and economic context into grantmaking strategy.
  • Access knowledge of the social capital market and financial resource needs in a geography or subsector.

A Window Into Our Philosophy

"In the social sector... there is no guaranteed relationship between exceptional results and sustained access to resources. In fact, the exact opposite can happen. As (NFF Founder) Clara Miller shows in her superb article, 'Hidden in Plain Sight: Understanding Nonprofit Capital Structure (Nonprofit Quarterly, Spring 2003), nonprofit funding tends to favor programmatic funding, not building great organizations... nonprofits face a valley of the shadow of death in making the shift from programmatic funding to sustained, unrestricted funding, and many fail along the way." Jim Collins, in Good to Great and the Social Sectors

Through our 30 years working in the field, we've developed our philosophy on nonprofit finance, which surrounds and informs all the services we provide. Below are links to some of our core thoughts: