Someone Else's Brilliant Idea #2

By Jessamyn Lau

We just offered to make intros/recommendations to 7 different funders/supporters on behalf of one of our SE partners. This doesn’t happen every day, so how did it occur?

It was check in time for one of our Global Partners this week. They sent us over internal materials (already prepared, not specific for us) for review before the call. One of the documents was an asset map -a full list of all the potential and current asset providers on the org’s radar. Sending this was a very smart move.

It’s only the second time we’ve had a SE send us their asset map in full -often times partners highlight a few key relationships they are focusing on building, or give us a verbal run down of the funders they are preparing proposals for. A full asset map lays it all out there: Organisation, Primary contact, Deadline, Current status, Funds expected, Likelihood for success, etc. It included both current and potential supporters, financial and non financial supporters. We had a complete picture of who this organisation had talked to, who they decided it was not worth talking to, and who they were currently talking with. We also saw who they had approached but had not been a fit.

As a funder who adamantly believes in the missions of the organisations they support, wants to be supportive beyond simply cutting a cheque, and is operating with a lean team, this information is huge. We looked down the list and immediately saw a bunch of people in the ‘high likelihood’ category, with whom the Peery Foundation has strong enough relationships with that we’d be happy to make a recommendation. Some of those people are folks that the SE did not know we knew -they would never have known to specifically ask us for a connection to them. Sharing everything helped us see what was most needed (that we might not previously have been aware of) and thus where we could really help.

It’s also impressive from a funder perspective. We have a greater belief in this SE’s self-awareness, level of strategic thinking and relationship savvy.

I’m trying to think of situations where you wouldn’t want to share this info… but if you have funders that you trust and who trust you then it might be worth sharing your full asset map with them. You never know what networks they’ll be able to open up for you.