Connecting Beyond the Check: Building Trust with Grantee Partners
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Building trust with grantees is a process that goes far beyond writing a check. It takes intention and thoughtful connection. A panel of private funders share stories about unique ways they are bringing community members into the grantmaking process and building better relationships with their nonprofit partners.
From community involvement to focus groups to centering racial equity in their granting work, these funders are tackling difficult challenges with small changes while working within the constraints of their “traditional” funder role. Instead of saying, “we can’t change because we have to answer to our board,” they’re saying, “we can make small, creative changes when we are patient and focus on the outcomes the board expects instead of the things we’ve always done.”
Learn how these funders piloted new ways of doing things while effectively bringing their boards along, including:
- Doing away with written applications in favor of a video call to reduce the applicant burden
- Implementing declination grants of up to $2,500 for applicants who don’t receive funding
- Bringing community members onto grant committees to represent populations served
- Understanding how to move slowly but with intention
- And, more!
Danyelle O’Hara | Community Relationship Officer, Mortenson Family Foundation
Ambar Hanson | Community Relationship Officer – Philanthropy, Mortenson Family Foundation
Karyn McKelvey | Grants and Program Manager, Laird Norton Family Foundation