Services to Help Foundations Navigate COVID-19 and Systemic Change

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Services to Help Foundations Navigate COVID-19 and Systemic Change

Since the pandemic began, we’ve been supporting nonprofits as they’ve worked rapidly to distribute resources to those who need them most and push for systemic changes needed to address inequities that widened during COVID-19. We’ve partnered with foundations to deliver support to help ground their work in racial equity, respond to the needs of grantees, catalyze collaborative approaches to addressing large-scale challenges, and support the health and sustainability of their grantees — all with an eye toward long-term impact and equitable outcomes.

Here are some of the ways we can work with you.

Setting Strategy

Achieving big, lasting change requires a bold vision coupled with concrete plans to make it happen. And when unexpected challenges arise or new revelations occur, good strategy allows for adaptation. Many foundations and nonprofits are rethinking their strategies to better ground them in racial equity and better meet changing community needs in light of COVID-19. We can help you, your collaboratives, or your grantees to dream big and turn those dreams into reality. A key ingredient of our approach to strategy is thoughtful and intentional stakeholder engagement. Read more about how we engage stakeholders in setting strategy here.

Scenario Planning

Navigating uncertainty requires a different type of strategy. We can work with you or your grantees individually or in cohorts to quickly create an action plan that is iterative, is grounded in data and input from your stakeholders, includes multiple scenarios, and provides guidance on how to monitor and adapt as things change. Read about our approach to scenario planning here.

Nonprofit Sustainability Cohorts

Sustaining nonprofits’ impact requires focusing on more than just organizational preservation. Sometimes it requires nonprofits to reinvent how they work and rethink the business models that support them. We can work with cohorts of your grantees to help them determine the services, business models, and capacities that will position them for long-term sustainability. Learn more about our point of view here.

Community-Centered Collaboratives

Right now, communities need to come together, innovate, and try new things to make progress on immediate and systemic problems. Foundations can use their convening power to catalyze collaboration that addresses community needs and roots out inequities over the long term. We have deep experience designing and facilitating collaboratives that are inclusive and lead to enduring change. Learn more about our approach here.

Nonprofit Executive Cohorts

Leaders across the sector have the entrepreneurial spirit and skill to respond to the current crisis. Yet in this time of uncertainty, they seek support and connection to help them guide their teams and make rapid decisions. We can help leaders navigate the challenges of this moment by facilitating cohorts where your grantees can access peer support, tools, resources, and executive coaching. See some of our advice for leaders here.

Tools to Listen to Grantee and Community Needs

Understanding and meeting the needs of grantees and communities requires trusting relationships, deep understanding of needs and challenges, and an openness to changing your approach based on what you’ve learned. Many foundations are recognizing that having the impact they desire requires them to build stronger relationships with organizations led by and serving people of color. We can provide tools and approaches to help you listen and engage differently with your community and grantees, make sense of what your grantees need, and plan your response. Learn more about one of our tools that can help you here.

Foundation Leadership and Culture Support

We are seeing firsthand that strong leadership and organizational culture have made a difference in helping foundations quickly adapt to become more inclusive workplaces and better partners with grantees and communities. In addition, more foundations are recognizing the need to evolve their internal practices to help advance racial justice. We can help you assess organizational strengths and assets and determine how to shift your culture to embed the behaviors and practices required to get the results you seek. Learn more about our approach here.

Want to talk? Reach out to Sara Brenner.

Browse pandemic-related resources and see our services page for other ways we can partner with you.