The sharp rise of coronavirus has thrown our world into unprecedented new territory. Cities have enacted shelter in place regulations – including San Francisco where our Fluxx headquarters are housed. Many of us are currently working from home and therefore adjusting to a new normal. We’re defining new boundaries for ourselves, new dedicated workspaces, and tweaking our schedules. For all you work from home warriors looking for something to brighten your day, I have something new to share.
The collective action approach was developed because funders knew they needed to do more. They needed to better support grantees, collaborate with the private sector, and assist with local and national government initiatives (like getting the world’s youth to stop smoking). Today we see philanthropy stepping up to the plate (collaboratively) to support a myriad of different initiatives across the social, private, and government sectors.
Philanthropy continues to evolve and expand each day. As funder and nonprofit technology rapidly advances to further connect and enable change, so are new industries pushing increasing amounts of funds towards diverse causes across the globe. In fact, aspects of our society that previously rarely felt the positive effects of grantmaking are now experiencing the benefits for themselves.
The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) isn’t your typical grantmaking organization. They’re an organization with close government affiliations that supports the FDA by providing grants to local health departments and other agencies, so that those teams can provide up-to-date food safety training, education, and local food safety checks. The program gives grants ranging from $500 to $50,000 towards food safety jurisdictions across the country.
Giving USA may have said it best in their press release for the latest 2019 report: it was a “complex year for charitable giving.” Philanthropists across the country immediately pounced on that language (and the data that followed), and soon the think pieces began to spread. Individual giving was down, other giving was up. And most importantly, the need for giving certainly hasn't diminished but influences like tax law changes and political and economic uncertainty are reshaping giving trends.
We’ve written about this before but it bears repeating: collaboration is critical to the success of philanthropy. Not only is collaboration a core pillar of the philanthropic space – but true collaboration – the kind we see when our clients pool their grants to tackle a growing and serious issue, can result in life-changing impact.
They say admitting you have a problem is the first step. But once your foundation admits that your current grants management system is more hindrance than help, you’re suddenly left with the overwhelming project of figuring out how to choose the right system that will not only meet your needs today, but also scale with you into the future.
Earth Day is a double-edged sword in the philanthropy space. On the one hand, it’s a time to celebrate and honor our planet and the incredible ecosystems it houses. On the other hand, it’s a sobering time to reflect on the continuously mounting work we all need to do – collectively – to save our environment. Each one of us has a unique role to play and we may find ourselves drawn to one struggle (renewable energy, clean water, endangered species, etc.) more than another. At Fluxx, we enable a variety of giving strategies through our Grantmaker solution, two of which we will examine today. But no matter what the focus, Earth Day is about coming together to spread awareness and help save our planet!
The key to lasting impact is the ability to scale and adapt. When you’re able to share, reproduce, and generate impact beyond your original reach – everyone benefits! A key way to truly scale is with technology. A robust grants management platform brings with it automation and efficiency – saving foundations from having to overhire in order to meet their needs or overburden their current employees. Not to mention how much easier tax season becomes when data is centralized, safe, and easily referenceable.