Thanks to everyone who joined us for happy hour at Black Bottle last week! It was a beautiful Thursday night, filled with stimulating conversation, great food and laughter.
Our discussion topic was: Do you attend your grantees’ events? What is an appropriate way to participate in these events (i.e. are personal contributions expected)? How do foundation’s show support for grantees with limited staff capacity?
Here’s a recap from our end of the table:
To attend or not to attend? There were plenty of diverse answers to this question, but overall the crowd tended to fall into one of two camps: attending a lot of events or only those events that fit the bill, so to speak (i.e. a long-time grantee, an organization of personal interest, a struggling organization, etc). Some attendees confessed that they tried to limit their attendance at grantee fundraising events, as there were just too many to attend. Others with smaller portfolios noted that they tried to send at least one representative from their foundation and often filled whole tables with foundation staff and friends. There were also many foundations who opt to purchase tables at events, and allow the grantee to fill it at their discretion.
To giveth of your own resources? Many said that they do give personal contributions at events. However, given financial constraints and the sheer number of events, it's difficult to give as much as they may want. Some foundations matched individual employee contributions. One foundation allots a certain dollar amount for employees to use at each event- covering the cost of the ticket and an additional donation, which doesn't break their piggy bank!
For those who attended, were their any particular conversations that stuck you? And for those of you who couldn’t make it, what are your thoughts on this topic? Do you attend your grantee’s events?
We look forward to continuing this conversation throughout the year at other events, and we're looking forward to revisiting a Social Media discussion in October. Location TBD!