4 Best Practices for Working With Your Funders

Yesterday morning I, along with colleagues from our Development Department, attended the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Westchester Chapter’s Funders Panel.   What a great investment!   In a time of ups and downs for many nonprofit organizations, hearing directly from the funders themselves brought new insight, assurance, and a human outlook to the field.  The panel, consisting of corporate, private, and community foundation representatives (see below), truly understand the needs in the community and value the services that local nonprofits provide.  Among the “best practices”, trends, tips, tricks of the trade (do’s and don’ts), here are my greatest take aways:

#1 – It’s a two way street.  Funders are our partners—keep them informed of the good and the not so good—often times they are able to help.

#2 – We’re all in this together.  Recognize other nonprofits as potential partners/resources, not competitors.

#3 – Know your own environment.  Don’t always presume people know about the challenges our clients face—take the time to bring light to new issues and why they are important.

#4 – Don’t give up!  Just because you aren’t being funded now doesn’t mean it will not happen in the future.  Relationships take time to build.

On this note, I want to say thank you to everyone on the panel for their feedback.  And especially take this time to thank all of our funders, friends, volunteers, and advocates, both new and old, who have invested in a partnership with The Children’s Village.  Embedded in our very mission is the word “partnership”, yet we are humbly reminded everyday that this partnership extends beyond the youth and families we serve.

For more information about CV’s Partners visit Our Partners Page.

Panelists at the AFP event were professionals from:
The Foundation Center
US Trust
The Frog Rock Foundation
Con Edison
Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley

Elisabeth Vieselmeyer
Grants Manager



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