Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Peery Foundation discusses key practices that grantmakers should develop to create better relationships with the nonprofits they support.
• How can both sides of the funder-grantee equation improve communication? It starts with building empathy within the culture, but it doesn’t end there. Accountability and transparency are also vital.
There are numerous things you can do to be grantee-centric. We’ve boiled them down to 5 Core Practices that encompass what we believe are the most important aspects of being grantee-centric. We invite you to read our suggestions below and discuss the sustainable applicability of these practices with your own team.
BUILD INTERNAL CULTURE
- Hire experience: Build a team with real fund-raising and operating experience, having delivered outcomes, reports, milestones TO funders. Select those who know the game, but also know where rules can be altered.
- Build empathy: Model empathy. Ask questions like: How can we prioritize our grantees’ time? Will this request require a grantee to go out of their way? Is what we gain from this question worth what will it will take to answer it?
- Keep communicating: Charge your team to discuss expectations – of both sides – from the outset of a grant. Encourage your team to prioritize transparent communication when a challenge or delay comes up.
Since you are interested in Impact Philanthropy, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Impact Philanthropy?
DO THE HOMEWORK
- Actively source: Beat the pavement. Build relationships with funders who can make recommendations to you. Attend events aligned with your priorities. Be open to conversations with potential grantees. Listen with respect.
- Appropriate due diligence: Ask grantees for due diligence materials prepared for their internal use or for other funders. Only ask for what you use. Assess whether your due diligence process is appropriate for each grant size.
- Aligned reporting: Hold grantees accountable to their own internally set milestones. Align reporting timing with other funders of the grantee, or internal reporting they can leverage. Ask grantees how long reporting to you takes.
This list is not fully comprehensive or definitive. Consulting your grantees is important to understand the nuances of Grantee-Centric Philanthropy in the context you and they work in. Together you can create a process that prioritizes and facilitates increased impact.
Read the full article on how to execute grantee-centric philanthropy at Peery Foundation.
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