Things to Note When Supporting a Cause

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What to consider when selecting a focus area:

    • Government policies and objectives about the issue
    • The current state of the issue in the country/ region/ area of interest
    • What is considered by experts to be “best practice” regarding the issue?
    • What are the key constraints and opportunities within the sector?
    • Who are the other funders interested in supporting the issue and what are they doing?
    • Who are the key civil society actors/ NGOs in the sector? What are they saying and doing?

Pro-active vs Reactive Donor

Proactive Grant-Making
  • Philanthropist will seek out the projects she wishes to support.
  • This can be done by building on the research already undertaken, tapping into networks or making a public call for proposals.
  • The pro-active grant-maker is usually an “interventionist” grant-maker that explicitly constructs (or co-constructs with partners) the outcomes she wishes to see as well as the path to those outcomes.
  • So the call for proposals will set out the rationale for the programmes, the objectives it hopes to achieve, the deliverables it expects the donee/ partner organisation to meet and the criteria for being eligible to apply.
Reactive Grant-Making
  • Donor may also have clear strategies and eligibility criteria but she relies on organisations finding her and assessing whether they match her criteria for funding.
  • If the philanthropist is new and just setting up, it is likely that she will be pro-active until her trust of foundation becomes better known in the circles she funds.

Most philanthropists are both, with an emphasis on one or the other

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