Exponent Philanthropy

Make “Opting Out” OK

by Michael Corley, The Patterson April 2nd, 2016

You have a good idea for your organization. You have the opportunity to receive free consulting to help implement that idea. However, you aren’t sure your organization has the capacity to execute on that idea. What do you do? Do you take the valuable, free consulting or not?  Alas, decisions involving money aren’t always logical. In the nonprofit space, if a funder is willing to make an investment, the nonprofit organization would be hard-pressed to say, “No.” Financial resources are limited, so when the opportunity to receive something of considerable value presents itself, the nonprofit leader is almost required to accept it. Not doing so might prevent future opportunities. The money creates the imbalance in power between the funder and fundee involved, and this often forces the fundee to accept money/resources it can’t optimally deploy. To avoid this, we believe it is the funder’s responsibility to rebalance this dynamic so that the best decision can be made – even if it means the nonprofit does not accept the money/resources at this time. The Patterson Foundation (TPF) recently tested this theory with our latest initiative: Margin & Mission Ignition.

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Excerpted from philanthrofiles.org

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