What do we want? More! When do we want it? Now!


We all want more. More impact. More accountability. More understanding. More funding. Boards, staffs, donors, foundations and communities…we all really want the same things. We just have different ideas about how to get it.

Is every cause sustainable? Is every program worthy? It’s not just legislators who are faced with budget cuts; philanthropy foundations are making hard calls, too. According to a survey by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, 40% of foundations expected giving to drop in 2009.

Nancy Lublin wrote an open letter to her “friends” at foundations in this month’s Fast Company magazine saying, “We really need to talk.” Four things were on her mind:

  1. Stop being such a know-it-all. Many nonprofits really are subject matter experts.
  2. Marketing is not overhead! If foundations want others to know about the work they’re funding it requires things like public relations, graphic design and communications staffing.
  3. Focus the funding. Long-term results offer much better ROI.
  4. Newer isn’t always better. Give some consideration to proven programs.

What suggestions do you have for sustaining nonprofit-foundation relationships?

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