5 Questions That Will Improve Your Grantmaking

Giving money away is a complicated business, but a few simple questions can bring a lot of clarity to the process. The questions are straightforward, but they lead to deep issues that can impact your grantmaking profoundly. As you consider your next initiative, take some time to ask these questions:   What’s the problem? The first question to ask is what problem you want to solve. You may know that homelessness is the issue you care most about. But what’s the underlying cause to address? Is it that there aren’t enough jobs available? Is insufficient help available for people suffering from foreclosure? Are people coming out of the prison system with no resources and nowhere to live? You could consider these … Continue reading 5 Questions That Will Improve Your Grantmaking

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The Power of Taking Stock: 5 Reasons to Conduct Evaluations

Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, but I am not sure many foundations fully believe that. In the course of working with foundations across the country, I have made a somewhat surprising discovery: Many foundations grossly underestimate the importance of evaluating impact. This is unfortunate, because evaluation is both enlightening and empowering. In fact, measuring impact can give you power to ultimately increase that impact. Here are five reasons why foundations should regularly conduct evaluations. 1.  Evaluate to measure impact. The first reason to conduct evaluations is plain and simple: How will you know if you have had any influence unless you evaluate the effectiveness of your grantmaking program? There is really only one way to learn what the … Continue reading The Power of Taking Stock: 5 Reasons to Conduct Evaluations

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Turn “Thank You” into Ongoing Growth and Development

We all know how great it feels to be recognized and applauded for a job well done, and you can shine a spotlight on emerging leaders and key issues by creating a leadership recognition program. But before you dive in, answer these three questions — they’ll help you build a program that meets your own needs and acknowledges those you want to reward.   1. Who benefits? Consider these four stakeholders: Your honorees – By acknowledging those who lead a nonprofit, you open doors to their future success, helping them gain recognition, legitimacy — and, perhaps, greater funding. Your honoree’s organization – Your acknowledgment benefits organizations as well as individuals, creating new awareness and helping the group build capacity, collaborate, … Continue reading Turn “Thank You” into Ongoing Growth and Development

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20 Ways a Consultant Can Make Your Life Easier

You and your staff can probably leap tall buildings in a single bound. But you might not be able — or willing — to tackle every single need that presents itself. It might be time to hire a consultant. If you are wondering just how much help consultants can be, here are 20 ways they can make your life easier. Perform needs assessments – The more ingrained we get in our work, the harder it is to see the big picture. A strategic consultant can provide an overview of your organization and help you determine where you have real gaps and where you need to make strategic change. Conduct environmental scans – It would be great to know who else … Continue reading 20 Ways a Consultant Can Make Your Life Easier

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