Giving Compass’ Take:
• This PEAK Grantmaking post uses the case study of Susan G. Komen Colorado to show how data can help build stronger collaborations with grantees and lead to systems change.
• Are we following through on the practices that align with our missions? In what ways might we embed more transparency and active listening into grantmaking?
Collaboration is all the buzz in the philanthropy world. I’ve read countless articles about how foundations need to be better collaborators with the nonprofits and communities receiving their funds.
What I have not read are concrete ways to go about collaborating. To be effective, how can foundations better support the nonprofit communities they support financially? If both a foundation and its nonprofit partners have the same end goal in mind, what could collaboration look like?
At Susan G. Komen Colorado, one of the key strengths of our grantmaking program is collaboration for system-level change. With data about community-level issues from grantees, Komen Colorado can increase its impact by taking the information straight to decision-makers in government and other agencies to advocate for stronger laws or programs for the communities served.
Foundations must commit to system-level changes to address any of the societal inequities at its deepest level; to kill a tree, you don’t cut off its branches, you attack its roots, exactly what foundations need to do to make a lasting difference.
Learning and benchmarking are key steps towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact on Impact Philanthropy take a look at these selections from Giving Compass.
There are three things to consider when defining collaboration for your foundation:
- What are we trying to change? What is our focus area?
- What are the current policies and practices addressing this focus area?
- What data do we need to determine if the policies and practices are working?
Collaboration is more than a word or a strategy. It takes time, thought, and commitment to your cause outside of funding programs and building capacity. If foundations want to be true community partners, they should focus on the big picture, not just the individual impact.
Read the full article about using data for more effective collaboration by Mary Coleman at PEAK Grantmaking.
Looking for a way to get involved?
A good way to complement your interest in Collective Impact is to connect with others. Check out these events, galas, conferences or volunteering opportunities related to Collective Impact.
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In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Collective Impact take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.