Girl's Best Friend Foundation (GBF) closed November 2007.
GBF’s records are archived with Special Collections of the University
of Illinois, Chicago. In fall 2008, they will be made public: www.uic.edu/depts/lib/specialcoll.
Working with Other Grantmakers
Thanks to all the many colleagues in philanthropy who have taught and teach us so much.
GBF staff members are engaged in local and national philanthropy
in an effort to learn from and with others. We meet in places
such as the Donors
Forum of Chicago and conferences: Grantmakers
for Effective Organizations, and Asian
Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.
Working as Grantmaking Partners
When funders pool dollars and decision-making, our impact is exponentially increased. Cooperative learning with other grantmakers is equally powerful, with lasting effects.
GBF has partnered with the Crossroads
Fund and Chicago
Foundation for Women since 2003 in the Safe Space Project. Our
goals have been to learn together and to increase practices that
welcome and include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer
or questioning youth in community-based youth programs.
GBF was one of a dozen Chicago foundations to participate in the national
Healthy Girls/Healthy Women Collaborative Fund organized by the Ms.
Foundation for Women. We later joined the Fund for Youth-Led Social
Change, another Ms.-initiated venture. In both, GBF has learned much
more than we've contributed, and had the particular benefit of learning
about powerful programs around the US. Much
exciting learning is captured in online publications that define
the essentials of girls/youth social change and programming, and youth-friendly
approaches to social change evaluation methods.
Seven Best Practices For Funders
The Three Guineas Fund’s great report, Improving Philanthropy for Girls’ Programs, includes best practices to look for when considering funding requests:
- Homegrown programming that caters to the specific needs of girls served
- Holistic approaches that serve the whole girl
- Collaborations to build a full spectrum of supports
- Strong personal relationships between staff and girls
- Long-term programs
- Quality over quantity
- Provide a girls-only space
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