The Soft Stuff Doesn’t Have to be Hard: Foundation Investments in Grantee Workers are Necessary, Valuable, and Measurable
There is an urgent need for funder investments in the ability of grantee nonprofit organizations to support their staff. Such investments, when done well, can yield significant value for individuals, organizations, and fields of work or movements. Furthermore, the value of these investments can be evaluated and communicated.
This article explores the reasons for and implications of the inadequate response by funders, offers a path forward for designing investments in grantee staff, and documents how funders can capture and communicate the value of these “talent investments.”
Powerful myths serve as barriers to widespread funder investment in grantee staff, and the resulting environment is significantly harmful to wellness, morale, productivity, and equity for organizations and professionals in the social sector. One of these myths that has gone unchallenged is the assumption that it is impossible to assess how investments in grantee staff lead to greater social impact.
This article introduces a framework for “talent investing,” and offers examples of how funders have documented and assessed the impact of well-constructed talent investments.
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Stahl, R. (2022). The Soft Stuff Doesn’t Have to be Hard: Foundation Investments in Grantee Workers are Necessary, Valuable, and Measurable. The Foundation Review, 14(3). https://doi.org/10.9707/1944-5660.1622
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