Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Portfolio Management In The Nonprofit Sector: Measuring Performance And Optimizing Results Across Multiple Programs

By Jeremy Bahr, William Meehan III, Brian Tayan
2003 | Case No. SI103

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has approved a $110 million Nursing Initiative to improve patient care in hospitals by addressing problems of nursing shortages and lack of nursing training in the San Francisco Bay Area. The case addresses issues of how the Foundation can determine which grants to make under the initiative, how to assess potential risk and reward of potential grantees before making decisions, and how to optimize capital allocation among different grants. The case applies two analytical frameworks to the process of managing grants in a nonprofit: a logic model which allows the management of a nonprofit to outline its overall initiative in a strategic framework, and risk-return analysis to quantify both grant outcomes and the probability of successfully achieving those outcomes. Together, the logic model and risk-return matrix address central challenges in grant decision making: capital allocation, structure and objectivity in grant evaluation, and measuring outcomes.

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