Funders alone cannot achieve the change we hope to see without the knowledge, expertise and muscle of our collective grantees—just as our grantees cannot implement without funders. We are in a symbiotic relationship, and we should be happy about that. We can work together to achieve our mutual goals, but to do so, we—the funders—need to share the power.

When power dynamics get in the way, there are real consequences. Grantees too often defer to funders, and we potentially miss out on the best thinking if we force our agenda and fail to listen. Conversations that are veiled with pleasantries or manifest as round-about discussions prevent us from getting to the hard truths and lessons learned. In these situations grantees and funders spend precious time decoding the intentions behind word choice, timelines, actions and non-actions.

Read more at the Center for Effective Philanthropy website.

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Power Dynamics in Family Philanthropy

This Content Collection shares perspectives from nonprofit leaders and foundation colleagues on the challenges of power dynamics in family philanthropy, and possible solutions for how to address these issues.

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