The Real Cost Project is a joint statewide initiative of Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers. The goal of the Real Cost Project is to increase the number of funders that provide real-cost funding and to build the skills and capacity of all those engaged in grantmaking, including foundations, corporations, individuals, and government. The critical first step of the project was to collect information and baseline data on the spectrum of current funder and sector practices that relate to real cost funding.
From February to May 2015, research was conducted through qualitative methods, including an environmental scan of research and studies related to funding of overhead and one-on-one interviews with practitioners in the field statewide. Interviews were conducted with Board Members, Executive Directors, and Program Officers, representing a variety of funder types, including corporate foundations, family foundations, community foundations, giving networks, public endowments and individual donors.