Occasionally, HSF Board members will reflect on the huge issues that we are trying to address through our grantmaking and the relatively meager funds that we have to make grants. At these times we remind our Board that the groups that we support have been effective in addressing these issues, in part because of our support. We also tell them we can’t do it alone and we need to build relationships and partner with our funder colleagues so that we can all enhance the scope and scale of our work to more effectively create a fair and just society.
As many foundations are still trying to stabilize and rebuild their assets after the 2008 stock market crash, and as grantmaking dollars for social justice issues is expected to diminish over the coming years, HSF’s Board sees our leveraging work with our funder partners as having the potential to be as important as our grantmaking in the coming years.
Consequently, HSF Staff commit roughly 50% of our time to engaging our funder colleagues through one-on-one relationship building; coordinating joint site visits; presenting workshops at funder conferences; assuming leadership roles in, and when necessary developing, funder affinity groups; and participating in funding collaboratives.