Foundations and Collaboratives

Investing for impact is often stymied by unclear goals, outdated metrics, politics, and the pressure of having to grant-make in ways that also support organizational goals.

Sutherland & Associates provides ongoing management of multiple large, multi-year, philanthropy-funded grant programs. They are adept at not only managing pooled funding from many philanthropic investors, but in also recommending the best channels for aggregated investment. They work with governing committees to ensure that:

Renewable energy depicting working with foundations

– Pooled funds are balancing the needs of funder and grantee alike, each informing the other of needs and desirable outcomes

– Requests for Proposals are designed to accommodate dual and complementary topics, so specific areas of need can be targeted

– Scoring criteria supports metrics, so that award choices advance organizational goals

– The question of grantee impact can be answered in multiple ways to speak to various audiences

– Auditors, evaluators, and fiscal sponsors have transparency in investments, outputs, and outcomes via developed and curated customer relationship management (CRM) databases

Often the channel for investment is through a collaborative body. Collaboratives leverage collective knowledge, save time through avoided pitfalls, and tap resources that may not be available to individuals. From startup design to impact capture, Sutherland & Associates teaches the how-to of strategy and data gathering, so that clients can tell their story of influence and needs. Groups large and small are benefiting from Sutherland & Associate’s decade-long experience in networking, grant making, and impact capture. Challenges navigated include:

  • Articulating end goals at formation so collaboration structures and data collection methods support greatest influence from the beginning

  • Developing programs that ensure daily workload is leading collaborative staff to organizational milestones

  • Designing and facilitating member meetings around strategic decision points while preserving the democratic nature of a collaborative and maintaining a safe space in which to air differing opinions

  • Modifying and streamlining existing systems to eliminate redundancy so that staff and members can work smartly

  • Managing members in collaborative efforts by being a highly trained and responsive accountability hub for technical assistance, grant agreements, timely execution of outputs, and extraction of outcomes

No two foundations or collaboratives are the same in temperament and construction. Sutherland & Associates starts where the organization is by listening to background, intentions, and challenges. They help to articulate short and long-term visions, and build tailored, measurable work plans designed to achieve common goals.