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Giving Compass' Take:
• The article suggests that the relationship between the philanthropists and non-profit organizations must change in order to achieve the greatest impact together. This means donors will need to adjust their mindset.
• What can you do as a donor to work more closely with grantees and organizations in order to understand how to make the greatest impact?
• Changing the balance of power can be extremely beneficial for movements to gain traction and for donors to expand their funding to and redefine what 'making a difference is' really means.
Today’s philanthropists want to know what difference their money has made. This is a completely different lens and nonprofits have to learn to answer this question in a language that philanthropists understand.
It is therefore critical to invest in people; the impact lens will have to be turned around and the philanthropist’s calibration of what constitutes change and success must also change. As philanthropists, we need to start thinking, ‘What is the change that should happen?’ rather than ‘What is the change we would like to see?’ Just changing the way the question is asked can help alter the power dynamics–however marginally–of the inherently unequal donor-nonprofit-community relationship.
It is important to remember that the funder is just a resource; the nonprofit–the catalyst. They both exist to serve the community in the manner that works for the communities themselves.
From being donors today, we need to become mindful allies. For that, we must place trust in our partners. It also means that we have to build the kind of relationship with our nonprofit partners that allows us to talk about failure openly.
Many funders want their money to go directly to the programme; what most of them fail to understand is the money invested in organizational development is key to achieving programme goals. One must, therefore, offer what is needed to get the job done.
There is a clear division between the old guard–staff at international foundations, nonprofits and the new money (CSR and domestic philanthropists). The difference cuts across their worldviews, their approaches to philanthropy, the sectors they prefer to invest in, the duration of their grants, their expectations from their nonprofit partners and the change they expect to see on the ground.
Read the full article about the balance of power between funders and grantees by Jerome D'Souza at India Development Review.