Below are several relationship imbalances between donors and nonprofits that cause tension and reduce social impact—and how to address them, from the Executive Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula in Menlo Park, CA.
- Commitment. Navigating this imbalance requires effort from both sides. [As a staff member at the Boys & Girls Club], I have to remind myself not to take board members’ absences personally. They are volunteering their time, and as I touched on in a previous article, most have another job or other commitments … Donors can meanwhile diffuse the commitment imbalance by investing for the long term. Most nonprofits are trying to solve intractable problems, and progress takes time.
- Information. I’ve seen staff hesitate to share certain data with donors for fear of looking bad. But while donors care about results, they tend to care even more about our approach. How are we learning from both success and failure? They want to invest in teams that are asking good questions and learning as they go.
- Responsiveness. I appreciate that foundation staff are busy, but are we less so? If funders could just let us know that they received our message and will follow-up, that at least would show that we’re in a partnership. This lack of responsiveness makes us less productive, as we spend time spinning our wheels waiting for responses.
Read the full article about building better relationships between donors and nonprofits by Peter Fortenbaugh at LinkedIn.
Since you are interested in Impact Philanthropy, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Impact Philanthropy?
Looking for a way to get involved?
If you are interested in Impact Philanthropy, please see these relevant events, training, conferences or volunteering opportunities the Giving Compass team recommends.
Are you ready to give?
Impact Philanthropy is an important topic. Other members found these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects aggregated by Giving Compass to be relevant to individuals with a passion for Impact Philanthropy.