CA's Budget & Nonprofits: Part Four
05.25.2023 | Linda J. Rosenthal, JD
“Be the first on your block to review a foundation….” writes Ruth McCambridge, editor of The Nonprofit Quarterly. She describes GrantAdvisor.org as the “Yelp” of the foundation world.
It’s a “brand-new platform,” in pilot phase, that “promises to be an essential breakthrough tool for foundation fundraising in the United States.”
It’ll help foundations to get no-BS feedback and advice that they might not be able to get otherwise. And it’ll help us nonprofits not waste our time with foundations that have consistently horrible reviews; we have important things to do, like saving the world.”
Review 1: The program staff are very smart, strategic and committed to social change. There was a lot of discussion and revision before we were asked to submit via the online application process. Two challenges: they don’t list much staff information on the website, so it’s hard to see how they’re structured and what people’s roles are. Also, staff expressed interest in a project and then stopped responding after a few emails. Ghosting isn’t cool in any context.
Review 2: There are very smart people working at this organization who are willing to help. Their channels of communication are open—don’t be afraid to ask what you want to you want to know, and be open about the challenges your organization faces.
Nonprofit colleagues:…We designed the form to be simple and user-friendly and not take up too much time…. The more reviews we have on this site, the more useful it will be for all of us.
Foundation colleagues:You may be feeling a little hesitant, but I hope you’ll embrace this tool as a way to get genuine and helpful feedback….[A]ssign a Key Contact whose job is to regularly check reviews, respond to them, and bring back information to your leadership team. Also, ask other funders to check it out.
Associations of Funders: Many of you have been helping funders to examine power dynamics and be more intentional about getting feedback. Please encourage your funding partners to look into GrantAdvisor as a tool for getting unvarnished truth.
Donors, volunteers, consultants, and other leaders in the sector:Please ask the organizations and foundations you work with to get involved. If you’ve worked with foundations before, write reviews.