|Documents/6Q2MEP/5: Grantees/5.5.5: Communications|
Make communications clear and regular
Funding Mistake #5: Asking too much of your grantee. As a "great giver," you've developed a strategy to help you get the most out of your resources. You've established milestones to track how well you are doing. A new challenge is ensuring that this good thinking doesn't inadvertently undermine the work your grantees have underway. How could this happen? After all, you became a donor because of your belief in the organization, its mission, and its team. One unavoidable truth is the imbalance of power between a funder and a grantee. CEOs are unlikely to say no to donor requests if they put significant dollars in jeopardy. They will take another meeting, write another report, they may even adjust programming to meet your preferences. But the work of a non-profit shouldn't be driven by funder requests; not when the expertise of staff vastly exceeds that of its donors. And a CEO's time is a scarce resource. With every extra hoop you ask a non-profit to jump through, the cost of raising funds goes up and the potential value of your donation goes down. How can you avoid this pitfall in your grantmaking? First, keep outcomes front and center and avoid prescribing how the work gets done. If you want to talk about strategy, be sure it's the grantee's strategy - not yours - that drives your grantee's decisions. At the same time, respect your grantee's time and limited resources by making communications clear and regular, but not burdensome.
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