At Make Change! Trust, we believe that we have a responsibility to model the sustainability, innovative thinking and efficiency that we require of the nonprofit community when they seek funding from us.
How often do foundations and philanthropists challenge prospective grantees to think bigger, propose improved systems, pitch sustainability plans all while our organizations give in a way that counteracts the goal of many of those thought-provoking requirements. In 2020, MC!T turned the magnifying glass on ourselves and asked, "Do we embody what we demand of our grantees?"
To our peers, we asked, "How is it that after years, even decades of support, our grantees have found themselves on the brink of closure due to the hardships that 2020 brought?" "What good have we done in our communities if in their greatest time of need, those who suffer the worst are without relief because the nonprofits seeking to serve them are themselves struggling?"
These tough conversations led us to adopt a new giving strategy focused on supporting the long-term sustainability of the non-profit community. By providing non-profit organizations with seed or expansion funding to establish or expand their earned income efforts, we decrease their dependence upon general operating support grants. Solving for this over-dependence on grants is what will help our grantees endure economic downturns and other seasons of instability that may arise.
Ultimately, it is our goal that the non-profit organizations we work with be positioned to serve their communities not just for the next 5 to 10 years but for the next 15 to 25 years at least.