The Process of Giving

“Ultimately, philanthropy is a personal journey
and there is really no ‘right’ path to follow.

Making an individual grant to an organisation or charitable cause can be as simple or as complicated as the philanthropist desires. The philanthropist’s approach to philanthropy and the principles of giving that one wants to adopt will influence the process of grant-making greatly. The process described below is for what could arguably be called a strategic grant-making approach in that it places value on careful analysis, selection and feedback against set goals.

Spending time researching, planning, analysing and mapping is necessary. Evidence-based funding, rather than funding based only on a “gut feel”, a relationship, or a desire, will have a better outcome and be a more strategic investment.

The next step is to determine whether the philanthropist wishes to be a pro-active or reactive donor

Grants are often approved with conditions. These can be conditions relating to the timing of the funding, the ability of the organisation to raise matched funding or any other conditions precedent that are required before funding is released.

A critical question to consider is who defines the real problem? Should one’s giving be based on an area that a philanthropist is passionate about?

Measurement enables a philanthropist or philanthropic institution to gauge the effect of their giving in a number of ways..

A critical question to consider is who defines the real problem? Should one’s giving be based on an area that a philanthropist is passionate about?

Strategic giving (also called proactive grant-making) is the act of financial giving with clear and focused goals that are defined by a set of strategies for how the organization is to accomplish those goals. 

Grant making is a careful and calculated process that consists of a series of steps with the purpose of supporting a cause which aims to deliver social and beneficial impact.

While the grant making process can be complex, requiring caution and mindfulness. 

Now that you’ve gotten to the award phase of the grant making process, is it time to celebrate? Absolutely not, as a matter of fact you should roll up your sleeves and prepare to work because it is only at this phase that work begins on the true purpose of the grant.

The post-award phase begins when a successful applicant, known as a recipient/grantee, expends awarded funds and starts work on achieving the outcome(s) of the grant. 

This article aims to help the next generation of African philanthropists better understand the importance of continued philanthropy, how to set up their own charitable giving and avoid the pitfalls of the past. 

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