|Documents/6Q2MEP/5: Grantees/5.5.4: Priorities|
Work alongside those tasked with day-to-day execution and to not underestimate what you may have to learn
Funding Mistake #4: Subordinating a grantee's priorities to your own. It is important to take the needs of your grantees into account. Once you have identified if there are any non-financial resources you are able and willing to provide, find out if your grantee actually wants this help! You want to avoid at all costs having a grantee accept help that is a strategic distraction, for fear of alienating you. If, on the other hand, your grantee requires something you can't provide, you might broker the relationship between a provider and your grantee. This approach allows you to have a voice in the work while still deferring to the grantee (the strategy is theirs after all) and the more knowledgeable provider. If you have determined that the grantee does not require any particular non-financial support to be effective, your direct participation is unlikely to be useful and simply writing a check will make the most sense. How can you avoid this pitfall in your grantmaking? Keep in mind that non-profit organizations -- like all businesses -- are complex. And the individuals who work in them are experienced professionals. Put offers of advice or expertise in this context. While grantees will welcome your support, it's important to work alongside those tasked with day-to-day execution and to not underestimate what you may have to learn. For more information, see On the Money (GEO) and More Than Money (CEP).
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