Meridian has deep experience supporting a broad range of philanthropic partners, both large and small.
Private foundations are powerful drivers of systems change. They often define the leading edge of problem-solving on local and global levels through their grantmaking, convening power, communications, and investments. Meridian has deep experience supporting a broad range of philanthropic partners, both large and small.
As a trusted third party and advisor, Meridian’s understanding of policy, politics, people, and power helps us efficiently and effectively provide foundation leaders with key insights and advice.
We convene grantees and other individuals to inform foundation strategy development and implementation. These convenings, often off -the-record, provide foundation leadership with an efficient way to formulate, test, and refine core elements of their strategy. Foundations often take advantage of Meridian’s beautiful conference room in Washington, D.C., which offers state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities.
Meridian helps funders develop a shared vision on key issues and align their grantmaking strategies for greater impact. Meridian has been a key part of creating and supporting numerous successful multi-foundation collaborations, including: the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA); AGree: Transforming Food & Agriculture Policy; and the Global Alliance for the Future of Food.
Meridian incubates initiatives and organizations created through foundation investments, both in the U.S. and abroad. Our services include: leading CEO searches, hiring staff, retaining legal experts, serving as strategic efforts, providing office space, and handling financial management.
Meridian provides a wide range of services for initiatives that grow out of foundation investment and strategy. We can act as the fiscal agent for entities that need a temporary home on their way to 501(c)3 status, as well as those that have no intention of following that path. Our offerings include: receiving money from foundations and other donors; disbursing money to individuals and institutions outside of the U.S.; standard and customary financial reporting; legal expertise; contract administration; credit card processing services; and meeting venue contracting.
Research, Analysis, and Issue Mapping
To inform foundation strategy and investments, Meridian provides research, analysis, and issue mapping services that help leaders understand relevant issues and stakeholder perspectives, including the funding landscape. Our insights are based on thorough desk research and interviews with thought leaders.
Program Assessment and Evaluation
Meridian’s unique approach involves conducting program assessment and evaluation in concert with foundation leaders, helping them gain a deep understanding of their programs’ impact. We help funders monitor and evaluate their grantmaking portfolio against defined metrics for success.
Political Strategy and Lobbying
While private foundations are legally barred from lobbying, foundation trustees often take political action by contributing to 501(c)4 organizations. Meridian is skilled in coordinating between 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 entities, including: consensus building; coalition creation and management; research and analysis; advocacy and education; and lobbying (using 501(c)4 resources). These efforts can result in lasting legislative change with far-reaching effects. Meridian’s sister organization, the 501(c)4 Meridian Implementation Fund, can serve as a vehicle for funds and lobbying where appropriate.