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Advocacy With a Small “a”—Big Ideas for Small Foundations

While attending Exponent Philanthropy’s 2018 National Conference last month, I had a surprise: I saw a significant number of grantmakers genuinely excited about getting involved in advocacy! At the closing luncheon, I was seated with Melinda McAliney, Director of the Brown Sisters Foundation and Vario Philanthropy, in St Louis, Missouri. She noticed it too and... Read More

The Funder’s Role in Data Collection: Insights From Peer Funders

Data can be a scary word, but it also can be a thing of beauty when you’re looking to develop more efficient processes, make better decisions, or help your grantees find new ways of doing things. As a funder, you can have a role in supporting the data collection efforts of your grantees. This doesn’t... Read More

Creating and Running a Giving Circle

The following guidelines, adapted from the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers’ Giving Circles Knowledge Center, can be a useful checklist for decision making when creating and running a giving circle. It is unnecessary to follow these guidelines in order; for example, some newly launched giving circles already may have a focus or a host... Read More

Supporting Nonprofit Collaboration: Respectful Ways to Help Your Grantees Accomplish More Together

When initiated from the ground up—from the nonprofits themselves—collaborations can serve communities effectively and efficiently. Strong collaborations maximize nonprofits’ impact by providing administrative stability; decreasing duplication, competition, and overlap of services; and bringing more diverse approaches to complex social and environmental problems. Funders are uniquely positioned to cultivate and support nonprofit collaborations, and to do... Read More

Creative Giving Strategies

If you believe your foundation’s only asset is money, think again! Whether managed by volunteers or with the help of staff, your foundation is sure to have a range of assets at its disposal: Human assets—The creativity, passion, energy, and resourcefulness of your founders, trustees, and staff create huge potential for impact above and beyond... Read More

Considering Charity Ratings Services

Writes Ken Berger, former president of Charity Navigator: A while ago, a researcher on the nonprofit landscape created a list of every “information intermediary” (including Charity Navigator, GuideStar, BBB, etc.) and calculated there were over 100 of us. . . . Whatever barriers to entry there were in starting such groups have largely dissolved, given... Read More