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The management of strategic change in grantmaking

The management of change to strategy and established practice is hard in any organisation. For philanthropic funders, which typically have diverse stakeholders, it can be particularly challenging. Our 2017 Social Impact Report looks at the leadership of change at a governance and executive level through case studies featuring Eastern and Central Community Trust, TSB Community Trust, and the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation. Key insights of particular relevance to the philanthropic sector include:

Engage with the community - Community engagement delivers value, both for the insights provided, and for the message it communicates about accessibility and a willingness to listen. In a sector where ‘nothing about me without me’ is axiomatic, community engagement can also be a first step towards creating working partnerships with previously under-served and marginalised communities.

  • Be clear about your organisational values - As personnel change, at both governance and staff levels, clarity about the values of the organisation is essential. Values provide an anchor for decision-making over time as board members and staff come and go.
  • Build relationships with community partners - Strong relationships with community partners, based on shared goals and a joint commitment to learning, are essential as philanthropic funders support higher risk initiatives to address complex issues.

The report also provides an overview of the Centre’s work with grant-makers and funders, and their community partners.