Strategy

8 Tools Grantmakers Frequently Forget to Use

When most people think about philanthropy, it’s all about the money. But cold, hard cash is just one of many tools in a grantmaker’s tool belt. And some of those non-cash tools are far more effective when it comes to addressing grantee needs and community challenges. Here are eight tools grantmakers can – and should …

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Isn’t This Supposed to be Fun? 5 Ways to Put the Joy Back in Philanthropy

We all know the feeling. When that sense of excitement and possibility on the drive to work is replaced by stress, dread or boredom. What’s a grantmaker to do? It’s natural to face burnout and frustration from time to time. Processes and routines get old. Results are less than hoped for. Grantees approach you with …

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Boardroom Battles: 5 Ways to Move Beyond Conflict

Over the last 15 years, I’ve consulted with a few clients who, in the midst of our strategic planning sessions or evaluation efforts, must deal with the added stress of handling conflict within their boards. At best, these conflicts are time- and energy-consuming hassles. At worst, they can derail an entire planning or implementation process …

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Transactional vs. Transformative Transparency

This blog, written by myself and Elizabeth Russell, was originally posted on the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s blog, and is reposted here with permission. The Center for Effective Philanthropy’s (CEP) new report on transparency is a very valuable tool for introspection for individual foundations — and the wider field of philanthropy — to think about …

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Are you Inspiring or Deflating? 5 Ways to Encourage the Best in Others

I recently fired someone. It wasn’t that he was doing a bad job, per se. The main reason was because his way of communicating with me was to scold me for what he considered my underperformance, rather than encouraging me to do better. This professional (for whom I was the client, paying him) made a …

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