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GJ Entry #14: A Holiday Shopping List for Grantmakers

Most organizations couldn’t write this letter. So I did it for them. 


Dear Grantmakers,

The holiday season starts earlier and earlier every year. Retailers want you to start shopping before Thanksgiving. So before you make your list. And I know you want to get us something we’d really like. Check out the only item on our list. Remember, you’re the only one who can give it.

1. Base zero percent of your grantmaking decision on our financial information. No, that’s not a typo. It says zero %.

What should you base your decision-making on? I’m glad you asked.

Ask yourself these questions. Do our mission and goals match those of your foundation? Did we meet your programmatic expectations? Are we poised to achieve more success in the future? Will your grant move us forward on our path to social justice? If your answers are yes, then your answer to our funding request should be yes.

Once the decision is made, feel free to use our financial information to understand our organization a little better — our financial successes and challenges.

2. In case you’d like to get us a little something extra, think about increasing your payout, giving general support, allowing us to save some of your funds for our reserves, providing multi-year grants….


Your faithful grantees

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