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Philanthropy Lessons: The Power Dynamic

Funders must be aware of the power dynamic that exists between those who give away money and those who rely on philanthropic gifts, be empathetic to it, and be supportive. When we acknowledge this dynamic, bring grantees into the conversation, and build authentic, trusting relationships, we increase the opportunity to create meaningful impact together. In the newest video in our Philanthropy Lessons series and campaign, learn how to work well with grantees and hear how relationship building can help funders manage the power dynamic.





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Reflection on Practice Video: Starting as a New Grantmaker

This video looks at a variety of issues commonly faced by new program officers as they take up their role — from finding promising ideas to support, to understanding the dynamics of good grantee/grantor relations, to helping grantees collaborate effectively with others.





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Funding Community Organizing: Social Change Through Civic Participation

In this guide, funders and organizers discuss what makes community organizing unique and uniquely effective, how to manage grantee relationships over time, understanding the value of process, and the grantmaker’s special role in fostering change.





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Justin Laing on Successful Foundation-Grantee Relationships

Justin Laing, program officer at the Heintz Endowments, is one of the high-performing program officers profiled in the Center for Effective Philanthropys research report, “Working with Grantees: Keys to Success and Five Program Officers Who Exemplify Them.” Through this research, CEP identified four keys to strong funder-grantee relationships. In this conversation with PhilanthroMedias Susan Herr, Laing discusses these keys and how they are put to use in his daily work.





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Learning From an Adaptive-Consultative Approach: One Foundation’s Experience in Creating Systems Change in Education

This article describes a creative relationship between the Ball Foundation and the Rowland Unified School District. The approach was adopted by the Ball Foundation when they observed that grantees who had a closer relationship with them were more successful than those who had a more traditional relationship with them. Based on the concept of “adaptive leadership,” the relationship allows for flexibility and a more collaborative approach between the foundation and grantee. This approach requires both the funder and the grantee to be committed to learning and adapting strategies as needed to respond to both results and changing contexts. The funder Read more