Get on the Balcony

  • By Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, September 27, 2018

How Grantmakers Can Ignite Change

In a continually changing world with emerging challenges and opportunities, grantmakers must be prepared to tackle the most pressing issues that our communities face in authentic partnership with nonprofits. To do this, we need to be open to working in new and different ways and committed to examining our organizations to figure out how we need to show up and operate differently to enable systemic change.

Last year, GEO released Making Meaningful Change, which discussed some different considerations for what makes change efforts successful. The publication discusses things like how to keep external stakeholders at the center of the change process and how to ground change efforts in organizational values. Grantmakers shared their stories and lessons learned from managing different change processes, and the publication provided several models for better understanding change.

But what if your organization hasn’t acknowledged the need for change? Or, what if your organization knows something isn’t working but hasn’t been able to pinpoint exactly what should shift? Where do you start? What can you do to be an agent of change at your organization?

Our newest publication, Get on the Balcony: How Grantmakers Can Ignite Change, addresses these questions. The publication features helpful approaches for jump-starting a change initiative, drawn from the reflections of GEO members who have been tasked with assessing challenges and cultivating the conditions for a productive change process. Drawing on the practices of adaptive leadership, the publication touches on how grantmakers can evaluate the need for change, create a culture that embraces evolution and experiment to identify the direction for change. The publication also includes a reflection worksheet to help you plan for change and highlights some new resources that were not featured in Making Meaningful Change.

We hope you will consider downloading Get on the Balcony to learn more about how grantmakers can spark change. The publication is available to GEO members. If you are not a GEO member, please contact Allison Punch to learn more about the many benefits of membership, including access to this resource.