As we roll into 2017, there have been lots of articles about how philanthropy must adapt, including my post urging funders to increase payout and fund advocacy efforts, as well as this piece on moving away from “charity” toward “justice.” These conversations are critical and we must keep having them. While we figure that stuff out, though, let’s take care of a few logistical things foundations do that make us nonprofits want to roll up a printed-out copy of our tax filings and beat ourselves unconscious.

You might also enjoy this other recent article from Vu Le of NonprofitAF on Giving Compass

So, I asked the NWB Facebook community to name the things funders do that get on people’s nerves. I got over 350 comments. I’ve condensed them into the Funding Logistics Aggravation, Incomprehensibility, and Laughability (FLAIL) Index. Here is a list of things that make us want to punch a wall, scratch our heads in bewilderment, or crack up laughing. Or drink. [Update: The FLAIL Index is now called the FLAIL Scale, and was revised on 1-21-17]

Funders: Please go through this list one item at a time and tally up your FLAIL points. Then have a conversation with your team about what things you can do to improve your score.

Nonprofits: Think of a grant proposal you’re working on, and go through this list. Whenever an item is true for this grant, take a shot of leftover gala wine.

Disclaimer: This is the very rough beta version, written while watching Iron Chef on Netflix. It is not comprehensive, has no scientific validity, and it will likely change when I have time to edit. Please consult with your doctor before using this checklist.

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