Because the most effective missions and strategies are grounded in a foundation’s values and real needs, funders often “scan the landscape” to uncover funding gaps, reveal opportunities for leverage, or learn more about their chosen missions or focus areas.
Here are approaches you might take to scan your communities or issue areas:
- Talk with people in diverse walks of life: board members and staff, social workers, university researchers, business leaders, government officials, journalists, teachers, parents, students, volunteers, or recipients of social services.
- Invite program staff from your local community foundation or United Way to present to your board their perspectives on community needs and priorities.
- Read materials produced by affinity groups, such as Grantmakers in Health and Grantmakers for Education, or other expert resource groups and associations.