Do more than ready yourself for the unexpected.
We have been told for most of our lives to prepare for the unexpected—save for a rainy day, have a Plan B and apply to some “safety schools” in case you don’t get accepted by your top-choice university. While being prepared for the unexpected is smart, it’s not as important as being prepared for the expected.
As a philanthropist, your ultimate goal is to make the world a better place. To put ideas into action and create change where it is needed. One way to achieve this impact quickly and effectively is to be prepared for the expected. Problems will arise—that’s a guarantee—so you might as well be ready to deal with them. Here are five common challenges you can expect as a donor and what you can do to prepare for them:
1. There will be a lack of patience and a lot of pressure during planning. You’re designing a new grant program. Everyone is on board, your team is enthusiastic and planning efforts are underway. But the board will want to see grantmaking activity before you’ve finalized your goals. It doesn’t matter that they already agreed on a timeline for you to develop your strategy and to assemble the right partners to implement it—they will put on pressure for proof of progress. Prepare early by identifying some low-hanging fruit. Award a few grants to pilot some of your ideas. You can learn from the results while also meeting your board’s need to “do something.”