Philanthropy in Depth

By: Moira
Moira is a participant in our Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Changemakers class. 

In Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Changemakers, we have the ability to delve deeper into philanthropy. At our last meeting, we went into more detail about the grant-making process, an extremely important part of the health of nonprofit organizations. The grant-making process starts with a healthy grantor-grantee relationship which must be mutually beneficial. Secondly, we learned about the mechanics of the grant-making process. Specifically, we learned about Request for Proposals which are documents created by grantors that describe the possible funding opportunities. After this, grantees are able to submit their proposals about what they intend to do with the funds and then the grantor will decide which grantee to allocate their funds to. One interesting fact that we learned about the grantmaking process is that there is no singular correct way to go about it: each different grantor/grantee will do it differently. 
A second topic of our class was exploring and learning more about nonprofit governance and accountability. A nonprofit is accountable to the public since their goals have to do with improving quality of life for some sector of the public. Within individual non-profits, there are many people that help the organization stay on the right track. For example, the Board of Directors is a group of people that oversee the actions of the non-profit in order to ensure that they are staying true to their mission and values. Without these people, there would be no third person perspective that has the organization's best interests in mind which would have a detrimental effect on the organization. 

In class, we did an activity in which, as a group, we had to decide where to allocate funds to as if we were grantors. Some of the most important factors we looked for in organizations were transparency, accountability, financial health, and efficiency. It is important to consider these criteria because they will ensure that a grantor is giving to a non-profit organization that will be responsible with the treasure given to them. The idea of criteria for organizations to give to ties into being an educated philanthropist in order to effectively give your time, talent, and treasure.