Following is a guest post from Jen Bokoff, Director of GrantCraft, a service of the Foundation Center in New York and the European Foundation Centre in Brussels. Follow her on Twitter at @grantcraft and @jenbo1. When I started work as a program officer at a small private foundation, I had my street smarts, book smarts, and experiences as my compass. There were articles here and there about fascinating trends in philanthropy, some meetings on special topics with other grantmakers in the region, and I followed some doers and shakers in the field on Twitter to hear their 140 character snippets of wise words. What I didn’t have, however, was a toolkit for how to be a thoughtful funder. I didn’t have a go-to resource, and therefore grappled with issues that arose in the course of our foundation’s work that were as simple as, “How do I say no?” and more strategically geared like, “Is our partnership with the government similar to that which other funders experience?” Over time, these questions were explored and answered with my team, but it would have been nice to also learn from the experience of other, more seasoned funders. If only I had known about GrantCraft. (more…)
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