Learning

Strengthening Relationships Through Feedback

Posted on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Building strong, honest, and open relationships is at the core of SFE’s philanthropic approach. We recently started working with Feedback Labs, an organization dedicated to helping philanthropies, aid organizations, and non-profits learn from their grantees’ feedback and become more responsive to their needs.

We participated in a Feedback Labs “LabStorm,” which brought together representatives from a range of philanthropies and aid organizations to crowdsource ways that our feedback gathering processes might be streamlined and made more open. It was a terrific experience, and extremely useful in considering ways we might solicit feedback that won’t just serve our own goals, but that will benefit our grantees as well.

Take a look at an excerpt below, and see the full findings from the LabStorm here:

Striving towards a collaborative feedback process, there are many ways to ask for feedback. In seeking a relationship between grantor and grantee, should that feedback be anonymous? LabStorm attendees shared their personal experiences answering funders’ anonymous surveys. Overwhelmingly, attendees agreed that they’d prefer a productive conversation over a survey. The promise of anonymity resulted in lower drive to answer the questions. But the promise of a conversation, for project managers and executive directors alike, was preferable. In fact, many echoed the sentiment that they’d be willing to jump through hoops for a funder who is a good thinking partner. Grantees can benefit from the lessons their funder learn from working with a large portfolio of organizations doing similar work. In sum, it’s worth having hard feedback conversations with a funder who helps advance strategy or generate new ideas.

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