Integrity and Respect in Grantmaking Relationships

In the fall issue of Giving Forum, Vickie Benson, arts program director at The McKnight Foundation, shares her views on the importance of establishing and constantly renegotiating crucially important and necessarily imbalanced grantmaking relationships.

In Giving Forum, Benson recalls a 2001 Foundation News & Commentary article about Anna Faith Jones, then president of The Boston Foundation, that resonated with her and continues to inform her grantmaking.

Benson addresses the importance of staying mindful of the power differential inherit in the funder/fundee relationship and consistently acting to minimize it. She also acknowledges that doing so is “easier said than done.”

But Benson believes that money isn’t the only currency in the relationship, saying, “Foundations require partners.”

She says, “When everyone realizes that, the power shifts almost immediately and a relationship that truly cultivates constructive dialogue and engagement can begin.”

Don’t miss the full article where Benson goes in-depth and shares additional wisdom. Giving Forum is online and in your mailboxes now.

- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate

Photo: cc glsims99

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