Communication Breakdown During ‘A Time of Need’

The Center for Effective Philanthropy, or CEP, recently reported on a study it conducted to determine how communication between grantees and funders has been in response to the poor economy.

The results were bleak.

Data collected from over 6,000 grantees of 37 foundations throughout the country found sobering statistics. Nonprofits reported poor, unclear or unhelpful communication from funders at a time when many feel a desperate need for additional understanding on the best responses to recent economic challenges faced. And, more than 30 percent of grantees reported having no communication with their funders on the current economic climate.

Read the full report here.

One grantee interviewed during the study indicated how important it is for “candid discussions of (foundation) priorities during the economic downturn.”

A similar sentiment frequently arose in the feedback received from “Meet the Funders” attendees in June, but with a positive spin. Many commented on how pleased they were to be able to have such “candid discussions” on exactly the same topic of the current economic downturn and how area foundations are responding.

The CEP , as a result of its study, offered suggestions on how to bridge the communication gap. It emphasized the need for effort from both the foundations and the grantees, stating strong relationships between the two an important tool for  nonprofits’ response to the economic crisis.

“Meet the Funders” is one tool for such communication. What are some other ways to better foster strong “funder/grantee” relationships?


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