As funders seek to invest in solving complex and challenging social issues, we have been hearing this question more often than ever: How can we be sure our funds contribute to making a real impact?
The short answer is that funders should be open to exploring new approaches to investing in social good that align funding with outcomes. The longer answer can be broken out into three streams of thinking that can guide a new approach to your funding strategy.
1. Invest in Scaling Social Good Organizations
Traditionally, funders invest in a social good program or individual, or they offer a grant to an organization. A new avenue to explore is investing in helping nonprofits scale their operations by investing in their technology and infrastructure. In this scenario, funders help a nonprofit gain access to technologies that will allow them to better manage and track data so that they can enhance decision-making and improve services as they grow. Ultimately, this leads to the organization having a greater ability to accelerate progress toward outcomes and impact.
2. Foster Partnerships Between Nonprofits and Community Organizations
Funders are in a unique position to take a new approach to collaborative problem-solving. When funders look at social problems holistically, they can foster partnerships across nonprofit and community organizations with everyone aligning around a common goal. Funders can meet with nonprofits and community partners to bring everyone together to approach problem-solving as a social good team.
3. Embrace the Power of Shared Data to Drive Shared Insights
Traditionally, every organization involved in social good has its own sets of data, stored in their own systems, within their own four walls. What is coming next for funders and the organizations they work with is an era of data sharing – and this could be a game-changer for how funders, nonprofits, community organizations, and other stakeholders collaborate to achieve impact. When you harness shared data, you and your partners can understand what is working, what is not working, and what needs to change. With greater access to data across stakeholders, everyone can gain a shared understanding of progress and come together to make smarter decisions about strategies and programs that create change.
Are you ready to accelerate impact and take your funding further? Connect with our Funder Impact team to see how we are empowering funders to explore new approaches that deliver real outcomes.