Giving Compass’ Take:
· Writing for Medium, Christal Smith shares her recent experience with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and discusses next-gen grantmaking and maximizing impact.
· What did the author take away from her experience with Doctors Without Borders (MSF)? How do grantmaking priorities shift as leaderships changes hands to the next generation?
What happens when grant-making decisions for a small family foundation change hands to the next generation? Sure, priorities shift and new opportunities are sought. But perhaps the biggest change, and one that affects the basic dynamics of philanthropic giving is best illustrated by my recent experience visiting the work of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Mexico.
The idea was simply to see for myself a program that our family foundation was supporting. The Circle for Children is a Canada-based foundation that funds programs aimed at children in crisis. We initially focused on helping Canadian foster families, but we’ve begun in recent years to support NGOs with programs addressing the needs of refugee families in Canada and abroad. Beginning in 2013 we began supporting MSF’s work (donating over $100K in the last 5 years). In 2018 I joined the foundation in my capacity as program officer just as news of traumatic family separations at the US/Mexico border began making headlines.
As a volunteer first responder with the police and fire departments in Los Angeles I had a good idea of what crisis response, often referred to as psychological first aid, does and doesn’t offer to the recently traumatized. Just as MSF’s medical missions are designed to meet the immediate needs of families in emergencies, psychological first aid is — as one of the staff described to me — about having one shot, one moment to make a difference.
Read the full article about next-gen grantmaking for family foundations by Christal Smith at Medium.
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