John E. Craig
Assessing the Value of Small Grants Funds, John E. Craig, Jr., M.P.A., The Commonwealth Fund, February 2002
Executive Vice President's Report from 2001 Annual Report
Since 1968, The Commonwealth Fund has maintained a Small Grants Fund, toward which it has annually set aside a block of funds for small grants made at the discretion of the foundation's president rather than with the specific, formal approval of the board of directors. As this grantmaking tool demonstrated its value over time, its share of the total grants budget grew to 9 percent, or $1.6 million, in 2001. By enabling the foundation to move quickly and flexibly to underwrite very targeted work, the Small Grants Fund has helped to inform major program areas, finance key policy research, communicate program findings, promote discourse on health policy issues, and revisit issues addressed by earlier undertakings.