Outreach & Application: Common Philanthropic Activities
The activities usually found in the outreach and application phase of the grantmaking cycle include the design of the application process — including forms, processes, criteria and guidelines — as well as field research and an outreach strategy to identify potential grantees. Key decisions include whether or not to:
- Use a request for proposals (RFP),
- Accept unsolicited applications,
- Only invite selected organizations to apply, and
- Have a preliminary process such as a letter of inquiry.
QUESTIONS FOR THE JUSTICE FUNDER:
- How can I identify potential grantees and conduct research on the context, issues, and models being used in my grantmaking area in a way that is not burdensome to the field?
- What process should I use to identify organizations that work with and are led by people from the most marginalized communities? Can I broaden the scope of potential grantees to include a multiplicity of actors and institutions beyond well-established, more visible organizations?
- Which communities appear to be absent or marginalized, and how can I learn more about their experiences? Conversely, how can I recognize the “gate keepers” within communities and ensure that I learn about newcomers? What knowledge is validated and whose voices are seen as expert?
- What are the challenges and barriers applicants might face in the application process, and how can I lessen or help them navigate those challenges?
Creating ways to lessen the burden on applicants in the application process (e.g., using common grant applications)
Not requiring an application and devising an alternative approach to identifying and assessing grantees