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Diversifying Your Grantmaking Portfolio as a Philanthropist

Philanthropist Jon Farzam shares how you can build your grantmaking portfolio.

By Jon FarzamPublished about a year ago 3 min read

The concept of diversification is a widely used strategy by financial professionals and individuals to manage their investments. It allows them to find promising companies that may perform well while maintaining their positions in a relatively stable market. This approach can also be beneficial for grantmaking.

Without diversifying their grantmaking portfolios, financial professionals and organizations will not be able to meet the community’s needs fully, and they will likely underperform. The following shows how grantmakers can achieve diversification by evenly distributing their grant types into different categories.

Stability and Sustainability

Many non-profit organizations cannot meet the community’s needs without sufficient funds to support their core operations. This is a difficult task, and it requires continuous effort.

Although operational funding may seem mundane to some donors, it is vital to a non-profit organization’s operations. It can be considered an investment crucial to its long-term success. It should be regularly reviewed and maintained to ensure the funds focus on sustaining the organization’s leaders and partners.

Growing and Spreading

Many strategic grantmakers consider growth as an area of their focus where they can make a significant impact by funding initiatives that aim to improve an organization’s quality, effectiveness, and innovation. Medium-risk investments are often made in this type of funding due to the challenges it can bring to an already established program.

In the past few years, significant growth in funding has been made for health screening. This type of funding has allowed non-profit organizations to expand their scope of operations and improve their quality of service. By investing in the early stages of these programs, they have established new sustainability models and improved their effectiveness.

Risk and Change

The increasing number of complex and multi-faceted offerings by non-profit organizations has prompted the philanthropic community to pay more attention to risk capital. Fewer grantmakers are willing to lead or partner with organizations tackling major societal issues or changing fields.

One of the most significant risks grantmakers face when it comes to funding catalytic change is the potential for a high reward or no return. Diversification can minimize this risk.


Diversification is a crucial component of any grantmaking strategy. It requires careful consideration and planning. Since it can work in various fields, such as education, the arts, and medical research, grantmakers can create a fair allocation model that supports their chosen organizations’ goals.


Jon Farzam is the Vice President of The Shore Hotel, a family-operated and earth-friendly boutique hotel based in Santa Monica, California. While his family has been in the hospitality business for years, his decision to stay in the industry is based on his love for the team effort it takes to create an incredible guest experience. Jon possesses a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management, where he serves on the Alumni Board and is a member of the International Hospitality and Tourism Management Honor Society.

Jon Farzam is grateful to be part of a team. He often finds himself inspired by his employees and the lives they lead. As such, he is a big proponent of work/life balance, both in his own life and in the lives of those he employs. Jon understands that someone’s professional and personal life are inextricably linked, no matter what you do. He encourages a healthy work and life balance as it ensures his employees bring their A-game both in and out of work.

When it comes to his personal life, Jon looks for ways to foster his calm demeanor. To find catharsis, he can often be found traveling, in a match on the tennis court, mountain biking in the stunning California hills, or racing cars. Jon Farzam is also a passionate philanthropist and is active within many causes including the Surf Bus Foundation, a local organization that hosts bus trips for inner city kids to visit the beach—many of which have never even seen the ocean.


About the Creator

Jon Farzam

Jon Farzam and his team at The Shore Hotel are committed to providing an eco-conscious yet luxury experience for every guest.

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