Giving Compass’ Take:
• This Exponent Philanthropy post explores grants aimed at rural communities and how distributed resources must include organizational development along with capacity building.
• The basic question here is: How can we do a lot with a little? Underserved areas of this country must maximize their grant money, and that means thinking more strategically.
When it comes to grants in rural communities, small funders have a limited amount of grantmaking capacity and, to be impactful, must think about how to use those funds strategically to help their key nonprofit partners become more stable and proficient. This requires the funder to develop a more familiar relationship with the grantee—understanding its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—and be prepared to provide technical assistance (directly or through qualified consultants) as needed. This is particularly important in small rural communities that have fewer nonprofit agencies to work through.
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In underserved rural communities, using philanthropic resources strategically must include organizational development and capacity building of “multi-role nonprofits” that act as social services clearinghouses and safety nets.
As community dependence on these “multi-roles” increases, such nonprofits must be in position to make well-informed decisions in the boardroom, to create partnerships, to have a reliable source of core operating dollars so grant dollars can be dedicated to strategic needs, and to make a case for support that will inspire donors who want their contributions to have a perceptible impact.
Read the full article about grants in rural communities by James P. McCrary at Exponent Philanthropy.
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