There’s a bottoms-up practice that can greatly improve our philanthropic ecosystem. It’s the practice of building capacity from the ground up, starting with nonprofits. When grantees are equipped with the kind of tools and technologies that foundations can access and have the budget for, their important work can become easier, more collaborative, data-driven, and transparent.
Promoting diversity within your industry or workforce is an important step towards creating opportunities for your community. Yet teams often forget these efforts are more than just the right thing to do, but provide definitive, quantifiable improvements. The data is in: diverse teams also deliver better results. And nowhere is this more important than the giving space, a space that aims to support disenfranchised communities, and therefore should be representing said communities on their own teams.
Grantee reports are essential for foundations, helping determine disbursements and grants. Reporting is also a vital part of making grants and a fantastic opportunity for grantees to share advancement with grantmakers. But done inefficiently, it can be a tedious task that contributes little to grantmaker or grantee.
Done right, reporting can be a meaningful exchange of data and stories as well as a tremendous opportunity for growth for both grantees and grant makers.
Brad Smith is president of Foundation Center.
America's foundations are not particularly interested in receiving your proposal. Earlier this year I did a quick search on Foundation Directory Online (FDO) of the 96,042 independent, company-sponsored, and community foundations based in the U.S. The results were pretty shocking: only 26,663 are willing to accept unsolicited proposals. That's right, 28 percent.
For many nonprofit organizations, the grantseeking process is overwhelming. Every foundation asks for something a little different from their applicants – and after all the hard work, funding is never guaranteed. Maybe you find yourself wondering how you’re ever going to streamline (let alone master) the grantseeking process at your nonprofit. Don't worry. We've got five tips to get you started.