Funding That Works

Explore our new learning platform that will transform the paradigm of philanthropy and nonprofits.


We work toward a people-powered social sector distinguished by equity, effectiveness, and endurance.

Fund the People is the national initiative  to maximize investment in America's nonprofit workforce. Our goal is to bring about widespread adoption of talent-investing by influential funders and nonprofits.

The Problem

There is a gaping deficit of investment in the nonprofit workforce. Foundations use only 1% of grant dollars to support staff development in grantee organizations, and nonprofits have little incentive or capital to invest in their people.

The Symptoms

The investment deficit creates a bottleneck in nonprofit leadership. Too many diverse, talented leaders never join the field, remain stuck in neutral or simply burn-out. This situation is an existential threat to nonprofit performance, impact and sustainability.

The Solution

We need to replace the old myths of overhead and martyrdom with a positive new mindset that lifts up the dignity and powerful contributions of nonprofit workers. And we need to make talent-investment a widespread practice in grantmaking, fundraising, and nonprofit management.

What We Do

- Ideas and Frameworks
- Research
- Practical Tools
Consulting Services
- Education
- Advocacy

Our Team

Our staff and consultants are diverse, experienced leaders around the U.S. Our Advisory Council is a coalition of diverse stakeholders concerned with supporting the nonprofit workforce.

Support Us

Our work is generously supported by a growing number of foundations and by donors like you. Every contribution helps. We invite you to make a donation today or contact us to discuss your interests.

Our 3-Part Strategy

to increase foundation investments in the non-profit workforce

Make The Case

We show how investing in the nonprofit workforce yields improved performance, impact and sustainability at the individual, organizational, and field levels.

Equip For Action

We encourage and support funders and nonprofits to integrate talent investing into their grantmaking and fundraising practices.

Build A Movement

We organize among our colleagues and spread enthusiasm for the nonprofit talent agenda.


We offer a unique suite of resources for maximizing investment in the nonprofit workforce.


Our Fund the People Toolkit helps you make the case for investing in nonprofit talent, and equips you to integrate talent-investing into your work. It encompasses our Talent Justice Initiative, which help you invest in intersectional racial equity in the nonprofit workforce. The Toolkit is available at no cost and ad-free when you join our mailing list.


Our podcast offers a healthy alternative to the nonprofit starvation cycle. You'll get practical ideas and examples from funders, nonprofit leaders, and those who study and serve the sector. Host Rusty Stahl (Founder, President, and CEO of Fund the People) explores ideas from our Funding that Works Framework to help you advance equity, effectiveness, and endurance. Subscribe wherever you get podcasts, or you can listen, get transcripts, and access resources from each episode on our show pages.


For a more in-depth learning experience about talent-investing, we're building the Funding that Works Academy, an online suite of courses that teaches our framework. It pulls together over a decade of ideas, research, tools and practices to help you advance equity, effectiveness, and endurance in the nonprofit workforce. Courses will be available for board members and staff at foundations, nonprofits, and intermediary institutions. Stay tuned for more information.

Talent Justice Initiative

Fund the People’s Talent Justice Initiative addresses talent-investing and intersectional racial equity at three key stages of the nonprofit career life cycle: access to careers; advancement to mid-level management; and, ascension into executive leadership and management.


Fund the People is available to offer engaging presentations based on our research and framework for your conference, association meeting, funder briefing, webinar, lunch-and learn, or other events.  

Our speaking package includes a range of topics, formats, lengths, and pricing that works for you. Contact us to discuss your event!