Giving strategically

Mark PetersenApplication Process, Strategy

The beginning of a new year is an opportunity to reimagine one’s purpose. This is true for both charities and foundations, for those who do good and those who give for the good of others. And it is true as well for Stronger Philanthropy. We are currently developing our own strategic plan and working with selected clients as they develop their own strategic objectives to make a difference in their communities.

One of the outcomes of our own strategic planning is a complete rewrite of the way we engage with charities seeking grants. We are trying to be aware of how we can better serve both charities and our foundation clients. Communication is key. Each foundation client will be profiled on our site and include their giving objectives, eligibility criteria, and more. Our new application process will continue to be a two-stage process, but the first stage, called the LOI (Letter of Inquiry), will be simplified and accessible for all sorts of organizations. The LOI will allow charities to introduce themselves to our clients by presenting three ideas for funding their organizational mission, one of which will be selected for the project application in the second stage if it aligns with our clients’ giving priorities. We will also request the organization’s strategic plan to be attached to the LOI to better understand how charitable investors can best contribute to the charity’s overall mission.

Strategic plans don’t need to be exhaustive 50 page documents. Often, the best strategic plans are brief, yet having one is critical for any healthy organization. I’ve been particularly inspired by the strategic plan developed by Abbotsford-based Food for the Hungry Canada which all staff use at their regular meetings to assess progress and keep on track. And here’s a good article in Forbes on the Top 6 Steps of Strategic Planning.

New opportunities for funding using this new process will be announced over the next month by Tamara Foundation and Redleaf Foundation. Other clients of Stronger Philanthropy will follow in subsequent months. Subscribe to our e-news to stay informed of granting opportunities as they will always be announced there first.