When they set out on a path to becoming engaged philanthropists, most of our Foundation account holders are entirely new to the process. They want to give back, to make a difference and, potentially, also involve their family in that life-changing experience. They’re simply not sure how to give well and make the best use of a Foundation.
That’s why they make the decision to work with Canada Gives. Our Foundation accounts make charitable giving simple, effective and efficient. The administrative support we deliver allows them to focus on their philanthropy while we handle the rest. But more than simply relieving the administrative burden, we have the resources and expertise to help our donors navigate the NFP sector so that their charitable dollars make a real impact on the charities that receive them, while meeting the funding interests and causes that matter most to them. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the management of grant applications.
Put simply, a grant application is a simple, standardized way that foundation funders learn more about charities whose work aligns with their interests and empowers them to make decisions to evaluate whether or not to fund them. Canada Gives provides grant applications for our DAF donors to use in various ways, and can help them to properly assess each organization with additional due diligence.
Managing inbound inquiries
The challenge is that, in many cases, the number of grant applications can be overwhelming for any family foundation to manage. That’s why our Client Services team is available to manage all inbound requests for funding, creating a layer between family foundations and the charities they could potentially support (anonymously, if the family chooses).
Along the way, our team serves as a donor client’s de facto concierge as they interact with individual charities and the non-profit sector. That means helping to set a strategic focus for the philanthropist’s long-term giving so that it’s easy to determine which charity’s programs fit their interests and which ones don’t; as well as building personal connections with charities and, for larger gifts, establishing multi-year pledges and gift agreements—along with so much more.
Our aim is to ensure that our Foundation clients have the best possible giving experience and that they also have the opportunity to engage with their preferred charities or non-profits to the extent that they wish. Many of our donor clients and their families will not only make grant requests to support their favourite causes, but will lend their time and expertise through volunteering. The latter is an important value-add for charitable organizations for many reasons, but in large part because so many of our philanthropists have rich expertise to offer.
Why grant application management matters
For philanthropists, part of building a lasting charitable legacy—and potentially increasing their interaction with a non-profit organization beyond providing financial support, as noted above—is understanding exactly how that organization works. Who are the organization’s key decision-makers? How does the organization allocate (likely scarce) financial resources? How do they measure successful outcomes? What percentage of the organization’s funds go directly to supporting the causes or communities outlined in its mission statement? What are some of its key success stories or examples of significant on-the-ground wins?
These (and many more) are all important questions. Our Client Services team strives to cover as many as possible during our meticulous due diligence process, when we vet charities and non-profits on our donor clients’ behalf.
For those philanthropists who may not be sure exactly how or where to focus funding, our team helps highlight areas of greatest need—typically in conjunction with charitable organizations—after working to understand a foundation family’s philanthropic interests. This is the part of the process where we can also highlight new programs or specific initiatives that are creating meaningful change in their community or beyond. An outcome-based assessment helps our philanthropists determine how to best allocate their gifts.
From that point, we handle the grant-making process in its entirety, along with tax reporting and all other administrative minutiae to ensure donor clients’ attention is focused on what matters most—building a better world around them, their family and their community (however broadly the latter is defined).
Grant management is just one of the many benefits of working with Canada Gives. It’s also a potentially complicated aspect of philanthropy that shouldn’t be underestimated. Giving in a strategic, thoughtful way requires considerable time, effort and research. Having this task handled by our team makes philanthropy more enjoyable and goals more achievable, while helping to ensure that as much impactful funding as possible makes its way into the charitable sector.
The Canada Gives Team
To learn more about Canada Gives Foundation accounts and our concierge service experience, contact us today.