Be Transparent & Responsive


Open, honest, and transparent communication minimizes power imbalances and helps move the work forward.



  • Be clear up front about what you do and don’t fund, and let potential applicants know if meeting is not a good use of their time

  • Give grantees ample notice if you are making any changes that will affect their funding

  • Invite grantees to share their challenges

  • Be open and honest about your own organizational struggles, questions, and thought processes

  • Respond to emails and calls in a timely manner



  • Creates conditions for a more honest funder-grantee relationship

  • Acknowledges power dynamics with the intention of creating a more balanced relationship

  • Fosters a better understanding of grantees, their work, and their challenges

  • Offers insight that can help funders be more effective in supporting grantees


From the Blog

“We need, and want, to be better communicators, to help others understand our approach and rationale. Being clear in sharing what we’re doing and why we are doing it is important for all foundations.” —Phil Li, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation