Giving Compass' Take:

• The author discusses how grantmakers need to think about equity and align a funding strategy to their organizations culture, values, and capacity in order to effectively fund organizations.

• What is the significance of equity in grantmaking? What are the challenges for funders when funding is not aligned to the foundation's values?

• Read about other strategic ways that funders can support grantees. 

This post is the first of a series on “Alignment” as funders – aligning our values, our staffing, our funding, and our intentions. Clients and those who have participated in our educational offerings are well aware of this thinking, but I have not previously published these practica.

I have formulated the subsequent elements: how to align all of the pieces of strategy – culture, values, focus, capacity, and style to develop an effective implementation. That requires careful alignment of all of the factors that inform those decisions. It is this alignment that makes it all work

While not new, it has never been so crucial as now, nor ever as present in our public discourse – the role of equity in our grantmaking.

  1. The “what we fund” question seems the easiest – on the surface. There are differing approaches about who should have what role in redressing these ills, but only the myopic or misanthropic deny it is an issue.
    1. Compassion: The challenge for most of us is where along the continuum of needs we should use our resources.
    2. Strategic: Our motivations, to make a difference that goes beyond our own individual funding capacity, leads us to examine alternative methods and organizations. This process requires that we need and use additional skills and approaches to make our decisions and lead us to consider a variety of competing claims.
    3. Systemic: Strategic approaches have the advantage of helping make good choices among competing organizations.
  2. How we fund is about the methods we use to get the information we need and then how we make our choices.
  3. Who makes the decision: All sorts of people might be invited to have opinions or share their expertise, but the decision about who makes the decision where to give the money is [was] clear – and not terribly negotiable.

Read the full article about aligning funding strategy by Richard Marker at Wise Philanthropy