We have worked with large and small private foundations, public charities and community foundations, as well as individual funders.
Some of these clients have been quite well known, others quite discreet. Some have very deep pockets, others clearly more shallow. Some have been well established, others much newer. Some have decided to integrate new generations, others are committed to spending down their assets, and still others are undecided.
Some clients are anxious to refocus their giving, or to assess whether their strategies still make sense, or to see if their philanthropy is accomplishing everything they hope for it. Especially in the area of evaluation, many funders prefer that we work directly with their grantees.
Clients who are most suited for us are those who recognize that there are things that need attention, that some decision needs to be made, that there are choices to consider. Many prefer our boutique approach and our independence, allowing them to deal with sensitive matters in a most discreet way. Since we do not manage anyone’s giving or manage anyone’s money, we typically will accept only project contracts. Contracts can be as brief as a single board, or as long as a retainer to advise all of a foundation’s grantees on their evaluation.
We only rarely participate in decisions where to give charitable dollars or foundation grants. However, we regularly help determine, articulate and align funder strategies or evaluate the projects where money has already been pledged or given. We are quite comfortable referring potential clients to others if it is clear that our business model and competencies don’t correspond to the needs of that funder. And, of course, we take NO development or fundraising contracts.
Since discretion, trust, and confidentiality play such a key role in our work, we do not list our foundation and private funder clients. However, we would be happy to share references upon request.