Commitment to a philanthropic journey reflects a measure of time and energy expended, often even before the first dollars make their way to grantees. By the time a rough budget and direction are identified — especially if multiple stakeholders are involved — donors are not only ready to give, but also to experience encouraging results as quickly as possible. If you are an eager investor, consider developing your strategies with these approaches in mind:
Narrow Your Initial Focus. What issue moved you from the sidelines to become a player? Is it a global issue, or do you want to start in your own backyard? If you are focused on one issue, what might be your dream goal in one sentence? Then pick five or six words to anchor your parameters that include descriptors that are geographic, demographic, or challenge-specific for your role in that campaign.
Balance Responsive Giving with Proactive Efforts. Some funders decide to target the majority of their resources for proactive giving, while others may start with a much smaller allocation. By making a deliberate decision about how much to allocate for responsive giving and how much for proactive initiatives, you can experience the benefits of both approaches earlier and then determine how you want to transition over time to more strategic approaches.
Partner with Other Donors. Through grantees, funder collaboratives, and other networks, you can find funding partners who may help to identify opportunities to support important efforts that need additional funding.
Test a New Strategy. Sometimes clients come to us because they discover a need that is not being addressed, and want to find a way to tackle this problem.
Respect Grantee Relationships. One of the clearest lessons offered by seasoned donors is the value of honest and respectful relationships with grantees. Applying for and managing funds is a constant worry and responsibility every good grantee takes seriously.
Read the full article about eager donors by Leslie Pine at The Philanthropic Initiative.