Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

The Future of Trust

Jo BNE  Author: Jo Garner

I had the privilege of attending last weeks’ Philanthropy New Zealand Conference, “ The Future of Trust” with our NZ Grants Strategist, Clint Dunstan.  What a stimulating and inspiring few days.

As an Aussie, I am always in awe of the natural inclusion of Maori culture, tradition and language in these and other NZ events. From the Powhiri to the Poroaki, the speakers, workshops, conversations and camaraderie all embraced the conference theme, and exuded inclusiveness.

Because there was so much rich content shared by a plethora of amazing national and international speakers, I have captured here some quotes that hone in on the key messages for those of us working with funders and community organisations seeking funding. Forgive me for not citing all references, my notetaking could not keep up with the volume of rich information.

Some key messages for donors and funders:

“Give like you do in tragedies and natural disasters. Homelessness is an ongoing emergency.”

“Help to strengthen NFP’s leaders and movements.”

“Trust your existing NFP partners. If they have submitted an application to another funder, save them paper work and get them to just send you a previous application.”

“Measurement of impact takes time. If you expect impact measurement, fund the project for long enough”

“Take risks, accept failures.”

And most importantly, “The talk about nonprofit organisation overheads is exhausting! Let’s move on!”

For nonprofits:

“Effective partnerships between funders and recipients are relationships, not transactions.”

“Collaboration takes time, relationships and trust.”

“Having a baby is like when you get a multi-year government grant, you are so excited when it arrives and then you soon realise it is so much work and you can’t give it back.”

For us all:

“Learn together and share”

“Don’t leave it to others to make change”

“We can’t save the big issues without trust”

#presentingtip “There is Japanese research that shows looking at picture of baby animals, increases productivity.”

“We have a very small window to stop the damage we are causing Earth and start to let our planet heal. We all need to make conscious, ethical, proactive choices and act now.”

And some really cool people I met, both working to help save our planet! Dr Jane Goodall and Veronica Harwood-Stevenson


Philanthropy New Zealand - Jo and JaneGoodall








And for both Clint and I, it was an absolute pleasure to present the Philanthropy NZ Te Tiriti O Waitangi award for a grant making strategy that best aligns to the principals of Te Tiriti and Kaupapa Maori to J R McKenzie Trust at Parliament.  Congratulations to them and to all the other award winners (pictures found here)

Phil NZ logo