Giving Compass’ Take:
• Writing for Forbes, consultant Kris Putnam-Walkerly discusses how grantmakers can inadvertently make things difficult on the nonprofits they support, mainly through processes that are inefficient and ineffective.
• Simply by being more mindful of grant requirements — and listening to constituents more closely — we can vastly improve the sector. These steps are a starting point.
• Need more perspective? Here are four reasons grantmakers should step out of the office.
“Philanthropy” is generally translated from its Latin roots as “the love of humankind.” That means we automatically assume that all philanthropists are motivated, at least to some degree, by a desire to make life better for others. We see this assumption at work across the philanthropic landscape, from generous individuals to ginormous foundations, all working to support nonprofit organizations that, in turn, help millions of people and address almost every kind of need imaginable.
But too often, a philanthropist’s or foundation’s work and effectiveness, while generous in spirit, is confounded by the requirements and processes that the funder adopts — requirements and processes that make their nonprofit partners tear out their hair. It’s not the philanthropist’s intention to make life harder; it simply happens because no one is paying attention.
Here are six of the most common examples:
- Developing complex grant applications.
- Taking forever to approve a grant.
- Making one-time awards to address long-term problems.
- Refusing to fund general operating expenses.
- Underinvesting in non-profit capacity.
- Camping out in the office.
Read the full article about how grantmakers make life harder for nonprofits by Kris Putnam-Walkerly at Forbes.
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