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How To Build True Partnerships With Funders

podcast May 29, 2024

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I've been having some incredible conversations with leaders in my Next Level Nonprofit and coaching programs about sustainable leadership, staying true to our missions, and forming vital partnerships with funders and donors. These discussions have brought up key themes around what it means to lead in today's ever-evolving nonprofit landscape, especially post-COVID. This week, I’m revisiting these insightful dialogues to explore how we can create equitable relationships with funders, featuring insights from Marcella Tillett, VP of Programs and Partnerships at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Terri Davis-Marchant, Program Director of Housing and Homelessness at Trinity Church Philanthropies, and Robyne Walker-Murphy, EDF of the Groundswell Mural Project. Join me as we delve into the hallmarks of true partnerships and learn best practices from both funders and grantees.

What You'll Learn:

  • How to establish and maintain healthy funder/grantee relationships.
  • The hallmarks of equitable partnerships with funders.
  • Best practices from both funders and grantees to enhance collaboration.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The concept of power in funder/grantee relationships and how to navigate it.
  2. Building true partnerships with funders requires transparency and mutual respect.
  3. Insights from funders’ perspectives on effective collaboration.
  4. The impact of COVID on nonprofit leadership and funder relationships.
  5. Best practices for creating sustainable and equitable nonprofit structures.

Steps to Building Equitable Relationships with Funders:

  1. Understand Power Dynamics:
    • Recognize and address power imbalances in funder/grantee relationships.
    • Foster open communication to ensure mutual understanding and respect.
  2. Build True Partnerships:
    • Engage in honest conversations about goals, challenges, and expectations.
    • Prioritize transparency and accountability on both sides.
  3. Learn from Funders:
    • Seek insights from funders about their perspectives and decision-making processes.
    • Use these insights to align your strategies and build stronger partnerships.
  4. Embrace Best Practices:
    • Implement best practices shared by both funders and grantees to enhance collaboration.
    • Continuously evaluate and improve your approach based on feedback and outcomes.

Resources Mentioned:

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