Dream Funder

By Jessamyn Lau 


For a few months we were pretty sure we were giving up on our blog. We didn’t think the time put in to writing posts produced enough value or usefulness. However, after a few conversations at the Opportunity Collaboration last month we’ve decided to get back on the wagon.

At the Opportunity Collaboration I led a dinner discussion on what makes an ‘ideal funder’. As you might imagine, we had lots of eager participants all ready to contribute to painting a picture of a great funder. There were grant seekers, grant makers, and philanthropy consultants at the table, drawing flowcharts, cartoons and writing lists. The discussion was broad and extensive (see word cloud above), but boiled down to 4 main points. So here, in the words of a group of thoughtful Opp Collab delegates are the top 4 characteristics of an ideal funding relationship:

- Trust - Transparency - Thoughtful flexibility - Partnership

I’d love to hear specific stories and instances of funders demonstrating these characteristics. How does a funder demonstrate they trust you? In what way do you want funders to be transparent? Can you share examples of funders being thoughtfully flexible? What does a partnership with a funder look like?

Concrete examples will help us and other funders take list of nice, but abstract, words and figure out if and how we can put them in to action. This is about sharing best practices, not recognising specific people or organisations, so please keep your description general (no program officer/funder names).

Thanks, in advance of taking the time to type.