Corporate giving is a key contributor in achieving community, national, and global development targets. In Part 1 of this series we stated the case for instituting practices that maximise the impact of corporate philanthropy. Part 1 homed-in on key principles and practices that yield the best results from the pre-award stages of the grant-making process. While the pre-award phase is ripe with opportunities to insitute effective practices that contribute to positive outcomes, the opportunity to maximise impact does not cease as soon as a grant is negotiated. The award and post-award phases offer plenty of opportunities to secure positive influence and generate meaningful outcomes.
As you move into these latter phases of grant making, it is important to remember that you’ve elected to work with a grantee because you recognise that they have far deeper expertise and or knowledge in the issues being addressed and the programme than your own organisation does. As such, your interactions with your grantee in the post-award phase should be governed by an overarching theme: funders should listen closely to what their grantees are saying about their work, and as a general rule, they should listen more than they speak. This is not to suggest that funders have no say in how grant resources are deployed. But by listening intently, funders avail of wider opportunities to benefit from the expertise of the very organisations they hand selected as partners. Doing so establishes a dynamic that emphasizes the value placed on input from grantees. That dynamic facilitates transparency and trust that is integral to successful outcomes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps to identify, anticipate and mitigate risks that erode impact and threaten programme success.