Giving Compass’ Take:
• This Exponent Philanthropy post explores how family foundations with a strong generational legacy can use their relationship skills to develop more impactful partnerships with grantees.
• This advice can apply to many different philanthropies: Are we exploring ways to create more reciprocal relationships that will drive accountability?
Donor intent matters. A bevy of articles, consultants, and examples are available on how to craft donor intent statements and how to communicate them. Whatever the content and form, they should be dynamic, reciprocal learning tools that engage family members and beneficiaries. Extreme care needs to be applied so donor intent is not a one-way, power relationship. At its best and most effective, it is a shared connection that embodies cooperation, mutual exchange, and honest give-and-take.
Too often, donors (and philanthropoids) wrongly see no need to listen to grantees, heaven forbid. The idea of “strategic philanthropy” in practice too frequently fosters donor conceit and that stale old “I’ll go it alone because I know best” attitude.
We simply can’t ignore donor intent (or its iterations). But, it requires authentic, two-way partnerships — within families and with grantees — for the knowledge and skills to attain genuine results. Together, these variegated reciprocal relationships encourage real learning from the past and the present, and into the future. The future growth and effectiveness of this core American tradition of family philanthropy probably depends on just how well we juggle all this.
Read the full article about building a legacy of impact through partnerships by Charles H. Hamilton at Exponent Philanthropy.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for Impact Philanthropy, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and Impact Philanthropy.
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In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Collective Impact take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.