Books: Making Relationships Last
The thrill of the hunt is over. All the self-help guides that helped accomplish the feat are tossed aside. Now what? Is it time to slovenly settle into the relationship, with partners taking each other for granted?
No, says a new book from the Foundation Center of New York. "After the Grant: The Nonprofit's Guide to Good Stewardship" helps nonprofits that have received grants figure out what to do now.
The most important step is to build a healthy relationship with the grantor, says book editor Judith B. Margolin, a consultant to the organization on foundations and grants, program planning, and evaluation.
She says the book, which is part of a series, is "very accessible with lots of charts and examples, so it really comes alive."
Here, Margolin — who spent 21 years at the Foundation Center, where she authored and edited the center's series of how-to books on proposal writing and related topics — elaborates on "After the Grant."
FundRaising Success: Why create this book?
Judith Margolin: At the Foundation Center, we perceived a real need for this publication. After an extensive literature search, it was clear that while there were many books on how to get money from foundations, there was hardly anything in writing about what to do once you receive a grant. The book is really about stewardship, which is something that funders care about quite a bit — that is, effective management of someone else's money.
FS: How does this book address challenges fundraisers are seeing in this economy?
JM: In a competitive philanthropic environment like the one we are in now, fundraisers really need an edge. Building a reputation as a serious grantee, one who is responsive and responsible, is critical to developing and maintaining ongoing relationships with funders. As to the foundations themselves (many of which have lost up to 30 percent of their assets), increasingly they are under scrutiny from their own boards to demonstrate the effectiveness of their funding strategies. Selecting and awarding funds only to those nonprofits that are well-run and can demonstrate results is one way for foundation executives to satisfy their own boards' concerns.