Preparing for a New Way Forward
If the philosophy and strategy of a foundation changes because the funder wants to achieve different goals or apply new methods and strategies, the staff needs to be on board. This process of including the entirety of the staff in the change often requires much effort and some time and not every staff member might even be willing to join the new direction. But having these discussions about new and changing ways of philanthropy are necessary for the foundation to stay relevant and impactful in a changing world.
Having taken the decision to close down the foundation within six years, the philanthropist wanted to help the grantees build up financial resilience and be able to continue their work after funding from his foundation ceased. In the remaining years, the philanthropist wanted to employ more innovative methods in creating change by adopting the entrepreneurial approaches utilized by his business activities. Furthermore, he wanted his foundation’s management and staff to be up-to-date on the latest approaches and methodologies to create sustainable change.
We ran a training with the staff to educate them on the various financial mechanisms to support NGOs, including PRIs and mission-related investing, as well as various non-financial support. Patrick Frick, as one of the leading facilitators in the world for multi-stakeholder engagements, ran a two-day strategy workshop to define selection criteria of which grantees could potentially engage in financially sustainable approaches to their work. We also discussed exit strategies for those grantees that the foundation would no longer support. In the end, the foundation was able to create a more sustainable impact on both its grantees as well as the beneficiaries.