Copyright 2005
Girl's Best Friend Foundation

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:

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

Read more

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