Responding to dramatic changes in public policy in 2017, many foundation leaders have tailored their strategies and tactics in continued pursuit of their missions. Armed with a clear focus, experience, and strong networks, these foundations are modeling good philanthropic practice that is worth noticing.

A panel of three seasoned foundation leaders shared their experiences at the spirited event organized by AGM, Exponent Philanthropy, and GMA Foundations. The funder conversation emphasized several good practices:

  • Embrace your hopes and mission: In response to changing circumstances, these funders chose tactics like broadening or narrowing the scope of activities, rapid action in the face of mission-related emergency needs, and sharpening priorities to do less of some things and more of others.
  • Remain flexible: Faced with changed external realities, some of our panelists reacted with simplified application processes to expedite grants, or added rigor in decision-making.
  • Rely on and strengthen your grantee relationships: Today’s public policy shifts reinforce the importance of knowing your grantees, and taking cues from grantees, as they directly experience the trends. The knowledge gained by listening to and trusting these nonprofit leaders will help inform tradeoffs, identify new priorities, or tap into powerful grassroots coordination.
  • Learn, collaborate, coordinate, and cooperate: Our discussion reinforced the call for communication and collaboration among funders, and in our work with grantees. We cannot afford to be siloed. Foundations must comply with the law and maintain a complete financial and administrative firewall around their charitable activities.

Read the full article about foundations regrouping by Amy Segal Shorey at Exponent Philanthropy.