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Kathleen P. Enright
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Kathleen P. Enright is President and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. Since she began as its first executive director ten years ago, GEO has grown to become a national coalition of more than 400 grantmakers challenging the status quo in their field to help grantees achieve more. Kathleen speaks and writes regularly on issues of nonprofit and grantmaker effectiveness at national and regional gatherings of executives and trustees. Publications include Investing in Leadership: Inspiration and Ideas from Philanthropy’s Latest Frontier and Funding Effectiveness: Lessons in Building Nonprofit Capacity. She currently serves on the advisory boards of The Center for Effective Philanthropy and the Midge Smith Center for Evaluation Effectiveness. Find out more about Kathleen on GEO’s website,

Entries by Kathleen P. Enright

"Too Strong for Our Support" -- How Does That Logic Work?

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 5:22 PM

Imagine you're a foundation program officer funding in the area of youth development and education. You're approached for renewal support by a nonprofit that provides mentors to high school students. It has a great reputation, is strong, well led and has achieved impressive results. Nearly 100 percent of their students...

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Pointed Reflections From a Long-Time Leader in Philanthropy

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 4:39 PM

In her last public act before retirement, Valerie S. Lies, the long-time president and CEO of the Donors Forum in Chicago, took the opportunity to speak truth to power and to leave the field that she so loves with several calls for action. I share a...

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Do as I Say, Not as I Do?

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 2:15 PM

I've been thinking a lot about the connections between organizational values and actions, especially this week as we prepare for a staff retreat to discuss and recommit to the values at the core of our work at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. In a previous post, I...

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What's Love Got to Do With It?

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2014 | 8:40 PM

The Tuesday plenary session at GEO's 2014 National Conference explored the intersection of values and actions in grantmaking.

Years after David Packard's death, his daughters, who were serving on the David and Lucile Packard Foundation board at the...

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How a Recession and a Myth Revealed What We Already Knew

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 1:06 PM

Five years ago this month we witnessed a financial crisis erupt on Wall Street and in financial centers around the globe. Executives with egos the size of their paychecks had taken part in reckless, even immoral, behavior and the institutions they led were beginning to collapse. We felt the shockwave...

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Turning Lessons 'Listed' Into Lessons 'Learned'

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 1:30 PM


Television shows like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance appeal as much for the excruciatingly embarrassing moments as for the surprising talent they reveal. Given our fascination with failure, it is also not surprising that bloopers shows and web compilations of...

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"Fearless Philanthropy: Reaching Out, Taking Risks and Achieving More": A Conversation with Jean Case

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 1:17 PM

Among the most rewarding experiences of working in philanthropy is engaging with leaders and visionaries who are tackling some of the world's most daunting challenges. At Grantmakers for Effective Organizations' strategic co-funding conference last month, I had a chance to talk with Jean...

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Cliffs, Cuts and Change: Facing Austerity and Crises, Will Philanthropy Adapt or Delay?

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 10:55 AM

While Congress and the White House managed to avoid the ominous "fiscal cliff" earlier this month, the fact remains that perilous "cliffs" are an everyday reality for many individuals across the U.S. struggling with the effects of poverty. Thanks to the work of grantmakers and nonprofits across the country, many...

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Scaling Community Solutions: Reflecting on the Social Innovation Fund With Paul Carttar

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 12:28 PM

In the face of continuing cutbacks from government austerity measures and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget driving conversations about funding "what works," many nonprofits and their grantmaker partners are exploring ways to increase their impact and most effectively invest their resources in communities.

Over the last three...

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Building Non-Profit Resilience: Strong Roots in a Harsh Climate

(2) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 4:08 PM

There is something to be said about strong roots. The midwestern United States experienced its worst drought in half a century this summer. Here in the state of Illinois, more than 95 percent of the state was in a state of "severe drought" or worse.

Even in the midst of...

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Evaluation In Philanthropy: A Team Effort

(0) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 4:19 PM

Last week, while Olympic athletes competed for the gold in London, the White House announced the four winners of a competitive event in philanthropy.

GreenLight Fund, Capital Area United Way, The John A. Hartford Foundation, and Twin Cities Strive, in partnership with Greater Twin Cities United Way, were selected as...

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