By Henry Berman, Exponent Philanthropy
Here at Exponent Philanthropy, our research has consistently found that philanthropists with few or no staff can multiply the impact of their giving through the wise use of resources and a focused mission. When that wisdom and focus are applied in true partnership with a nonprofit grantee, the opportunity to leverage resources and amplify impact is greatest. By working together with the nonprofits with whom we share a common passion, we can achieve great and powerful things.
The future of the communities we serve rests in our ability to move beyond traditional grantmaker–recipient roles and to work together to achieve outsized and meaningful impact. If you have known me for very long, you know this is a passion of mine. I am increasingly coming to recognize that we, as funders, are part of an ecosystem in which the nonprofits we fund often have more expertise on specific issues than we do. By tapping into this expertise through true partnerships, we can achieve our vision of a better world through informed philanthropy.
Scientists will tell you that, within any healthy ecosystem, survival depends on sharing nutrients, energy, and other resources. As philanthropists, our contribution to the system is critical, yet without a healthy coexistence with those we fund, our grants and our dreams are likely to fall short of our desired impact.
I am excited about recently being appointed to the National Council of Nonprofits’ board of directors. The National Council of Nonprofits advocates on behalf of America’s charitable nonprofits through its network of state associations, representing more than 25,000 members.
My hope is that my participation will help to open avenues of understanding between philanthropists and nonprofits alike. I will be listening to gain a greater understanding of how nonprofits operate and what their needs are. I also believe I can help bring the voice of the funder to the nonprofit community in a powerful and effective way.
Together we can be a powerful force.
Henry Berman became Exponent Philanthropy’s CEO in 2011, previously serving as acting CEO, board member, and committee member. Through his experience as a foundation co-trustee and Exponent Philanthropy member since 2003, he brings a firsthand understanding of the needs of members to his role. Follow Henry on Twitter @Berman_Henry.