In her blog post of last week, Linda Wood described the benefits to philanthropy when funders participate in “more truth-telling and candor.” Her comments are right in line with the findings we report in Working with Grantees: The Keys to Success and Five Program Officers Who Exemplify Them. But it can be difficult for program officers to create the conditions in which grantees can be totally honest about what’s working and what isn’t.
In his video interview, Chris Kabel, one of the high-performing program officers highlighted in the report, talks about the art and science of building strong relationships with grantees. According to Kabel, the ‘art’ portion of the equation is the ability to create trust with one’s grantees. That trust, he says, helps grantees feel safe enough to share their challenges – rather than sweeping them under the rug. The result is a partnership focused on solutions that can lead to more effective philanthropy.
To learn more about the elements of positive funder-grantee relationships, we encourage you to view interviews with three of the program officers featured in the report.
Alyse d’Amico is Vice President – Programming, Communications, and Development at CEP.