"The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders, and continually develops them."

-John C Maxwell- Well-known author, speaker, and leadership trainer-

Tutorial 8: Summary of Mini Tutorials

Congratulations! You have now completed our first series of mini tutorials. The media covers what does not work but rarely covers what does. As a donor, you should be cautious but realize that there are many worthy nonprofits that would benefit greatly from the right kind of capacity support.

You now know of ten types of financial support you can give nonprofits. Our experience to-date suggests that when done right, providing capacity, unrestricted, talent, or operational support can change the entire trajectory of a nonprofit. Our site offers impressive stories where this was the case.

You now know, if you had not before, that making sure that as much of your money as possible goes to programs is only one perspective. There are many thought leaders, philanthropy support organizations, and funders who do not hold this position. We provide ample resources on our Donor’s Corner including videos, podcasts, and articles from others very knowledgeable on this topic.

We provided you with information on mitigating risk. There are no silver bullets. However, the stories on our site suggest that it is possible to dramatically improve outcomes while lessening risk. In some cases, the outcomes of one success can outweigh many failures. For example, in one instance a group of funders helped a nonprofit grow from providing $57 million to $108 million in revenue in two years, and this nonprofit maintained this level since.

Providing needed staffing for nonprofits with solid fundamentals is likely to be more successful than doing so with an unstable organization. However, some funders take small nonprofits under their wings. Also, keep in mind that nonprofits are far more likely to attract higher quality staff if you can help guarantee a two-year salaried position.

Joining giving circles, pooling funds with others, or creating challenge grants lessens the exposure of each funder while increasing the amount of capital available for achieving success. Also keep in mind that part of the costs needed to be raised can be done through crowdfunding. Challenge grants, as just mentioned, can be dollar-for-dollar or even less.

We all have cause to be grateful to those who took small, calculated risks and helped move organizations, innovations, and the field of philanthropy forward. If everyone just remained in their comfort zone, little progress would have been made.

Finally, you were introduced to the topic of trust-based philanthropy. This approach to giving has grown significantly in recognition and popularity over time. The emphasis is on investing in building relationships with your grantees, cultivating an honest dialogue, establishing equitable relationships, and making it easier for them to do their job.

Additional Resources

You can find additional resources here

Proceed to Tutorial

  • Introduction

    Welcome to this series of mini courses. We hope to give individual donors a quick lay-of-the-land

  • Ten Approaches for Funding a Nonprofit

    1. Program Funding: This type of funding is given to cover the costs of running programs, which

  • Donor's Perspectives on nonprofit capacity building

    Many leaders in philanthropy support organizations (PSOs) believe that nonprofits could achieve a considerably greater impact

Pass Our Stories Forward