Grant awards made by funders are meant to produce specific changes. Whether the funder is a private foundation or a government agency, it uses grant awards as a tool to address issues about which it is concerned.
Nonprofits exist to pursue specific missions, and they use grant awards to fuel their work. Funders provide the means and nonprofits provide the muscle — they’re partners. “A funder-grantseeker relationship is hierarchal and can discourage mutual transparency,” said Barbara Floersch, executive director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif. “A partner relationship recognizes the essential nature of each role and is likely to produce more impact.”
To increase impact, managers at lots of funders and nonprofits are working together intentionally to move away from the stereotypical grantor/grantee dynamic and to build partner relationships. As the field of philanthropy works towards that ideal, Floersch advised nonprofit managers to be proactive in encouraging the change.
“Transforming the traditional, hierarchical relationship into a partnership is in everyone’s best interest,” said Floersch. “It’s about being more effective.” ©Copyright 2018 The Grantsmanship Center
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