In his latest Giving Compass blog post, our chief executive David Bonbright suggests ways to explore issues that funders seek to address through using various data points.
If You Don’t Live There, How Do You Know?
After four years of being the Ford Foundation’s person “on the ground” in South Africa in the 1980s, I was well informed about the people and ideas driving the anti-apartheid struggle. I knew not only what was written in news, research, and proposals, but also the cultural signals that are so important to how people interact – where they lived, the cars they drove, who they partied with, and most importantly, the everyday challenges they faced. And I knew when I was gaining trust and understanding not because people told me – it is a truism that funders can’t take any compliment at face value – but because my role was evolving. Instead of sending me finished proposals, I was being invited into internal strategy discussions where new proposals were developed.
Most of the time as individual donors we don’t have the Ford Foundation’s capability to commit people on the ground to look under the hood of the issues we seek to address. So how might we find other ways to work through our misapprehensions of the needs and desires of the people we are trying to help? Continue reading…