Putting “The People” in Philanthropy
We had an interesting conversation during last week’s Engage for Results session at the Donors Forum in Chicago. IISC has been partnering with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) to offer this two day skill-building session to foundations interested in strategies for engaging stakeholders in their grantmaking. This offering grew out of GEO’s Change Agent Project, which revealed the strong interest on the part of nonprofits to be in deeper relationship with funders in order to achieve greater impact.
On the first morning, I shared some striking results from a 2008 GEO survey of attitudes and practices of foundations in the United States. Specifically, less than half (49%) of those foundations surveyed indicated that it was important for their organization to seek external input. Among GEO membership the number was higher, coming in at 78%. However, the survey also showed that overall only 36% of respondents actively solicited feedback from their grantees. That strikes as quite a discrepancy between stated beliefs and actual practice. So I turned to the workshop participants for reactions.Leave a comment