Identifying Priorities for Giving
Philanthropists often struggle with how to focus their giving, as well as how to say “no” gracefully to lower priority projects and requests. Philanthropy Associates has an easy, step-by-step approach to ensure that your giving plan is clear, realistic, aligned with your core values and achieves the philanthropic impact you desire. We’ve adapted this approach to work with individuals, families and foundations to prioritize interest areas and identify projects and specific organizations that will achieve your desired impact in a meaningful way. We help philanthropists create a road map for their giving, providing a long-term perspective on where and how to be most effective.
Program Design & Evaluation
Most foundations achieve their desired objectives through carefully designed programs with clear parameters. Philanthropy Associates helps create integrated grant making programs that are consistent with foundation values, easy to implement, and as flexible or structured as the Board of Directors desires. We incorporate evaluation tools at the outset to measure the foundation’s philanthropic impact and monitor where adjustments are needed. A program evaluation can be as simple as confidential external stakeholder interviews, or it can include an examination of detailed data on whether projects and programs have achieved their stated goals and how they performed compared to similar initiatives. We also conduct interactive, facilitated gatherings that bring grant makers and grantees together to examine progress, learn from each other and create a collaborative community for future work.
Meeting and Retreat Facilitation
A seasoned, impartial, attuned facilitator can be the difference between a meeting that limps along and one that creates tremendous value for participants. Our highly skilled facilitators help groups reach strong, well-informed decisions in less time, with less conflict, and creating an environment where difficult issues are handled candidly and power imbalances are overcome. Philanthropy Associates plans and facilitates meetings and retreats on a whole host of topics – from clarifying organizational values, mission, vision and program strategy, to launching a new initiative or campaign, to bringing grantors and grantees together in an environment of sensitivity and trust. We ensure that all the good work of the meeting or retreat is followed up with a clear report and realistic operational plan to achieve the desired philanthropic impact. Our neutral facilitators monitor the processes and ensure engagement of all participants, so that meeting leaders and participants can focus on the content, and the retreat is a genuine advance for the organization.
Strategic & Business Planning
A good strategic plan aligns all stakeholders around a common, focused set of goals. Philanthropy Associates facilitates organization-wide strategic conversations to build realistic strategic plans that clarify program priorities, reflect core values and unify intent. Through firsthand observation and interviews with trustees and staff and external stakeholders, we identify impediments to carrying out the strategic plan and create appropriate operational solutions. Philanthropy Associates conducts anonymous surveys of grantees, community members, peer organizations and other stakeholders to provide honest feedback on how the organization is perceived, where it is making a difference, and how it might improve. For organizations needing a business plan to structure and prioritize efforts, Philanthropy Associates works helps develop a custom-designed plan that incorporates the unique qualities of the organization and the special conditions of the nonprofit sector in which the organization operates – elements that are often lost in standard business plans that rely on for-profit templates.
Coaching, Training & Workshops
Philanthropy Associates offers skill-based, highly interactive programs for trustees, executives and staff on topics such as: engaging the next generation, decision-making and leadership, managing change, clarifying roles and responsibilities, meeting management, effective communication, family and group dynamics, effective delegation and conflict resolution. These tailored training programs combine leading-edge organizational effectiveness theory with carefully selected experiential activities. We offer highly skilled personalized coaching to help clients define concrete objectives and identify and overcome any obstacles to achieving their leadership and philanthropic goals. Workshop topics include, among many others:
- Clarifying Decision-Making
- Stages of Organizational Development
- Inspiring the Next Generation
- Articulating a Family’s Culture of Giving
- Conflict Resolution: A Pathway to Agreement
The complex psychological dynamics surrounding wealth and philanthropy are very real. At Philanthropy Associates, we help you unpack triggers, mixed messages and confusion that can come with wealth management. We take the time to get to know you – your values, family situation and goals for the future – and create a safe space to explore the more internal issues that go hand-in-hand with creating a strong external giving plan.