2017 Grantee Insights
ON WORKING COLLABORATIVELY AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS…
More work at the beginning to help create the project helps address the challenge of maintaining it.
Identifying one team member as the contact person to communicate with partners creates clarity.
Deem one team member as the calendar king/queen, and use Google calendar or other online calendar tools to share important dates across team.
Look for areas of common ground, listen AND communicate from your expertise, AND ‘think before you speak.’
FOLLOW UP relentlessly. Get creative with your emails and use a light-hearted tone.
Include relationship building into the budget and project timeline (# of hours and $).
Be concise with partners & clear with expectation (ex. There will be X number of meetings and then we get Y).
Require everyone to invest something.
New projects, even with established organizations, require relationship building that takes time.
We have to take time to value the work partners are doing through reciprocating trust and learning each other’s culture.
If they want it, sell it (have your cake and eat it too).
Celebrate little steps along the way.
Stick with it through conflict.
Sometimes inviting the smaller organizations to lead the project leads to innovation and allows them to grow
On outreach and community organizing…
It takes so much time to build relationships, but it is so important (especially with communities who have such good reason not to trust).
There is a unique power to doing work from a sense of ‘calling’ and from WITHIN community. This type of work innately addresses imbalances in power and exploitation.
Target community stakeholders. Engage, and build off of relationships.
Make a concerted effort to reach invisible populations. Get involved in community organizations.
Humility is a key characteristic. Actively listen to community needs in order to acknowledge needs. Don’t be an outsider with fixes. Establish a co-learning atmosphere and adopt a non-hierarchical approach.
Figure out how folks connect within the community.
Give ownership to participants and be flexible with the results.
Remember that at times generations of mistrust exist towards established institutions.
We are committed as much to a community as to a project.
ON MARKETING AND SHARING YOUR STORY…
Take time to write down community stories. Bring stories forward before they disappear.
Take into consideration the culture of the group that you are working with or marketing towards when deciding on communications platforms.
Build relationships so people see and experience results for themselves.
Within partnerships, leverage each other’s networks.
Facebook promotions are cheap and multiply outreach.
ON MEASURING AND EVALUATING SUCCESS…
Find creative ways of asking for feedback. Create color scales (purple to yellow) rather than number scales for those who do not conform to a 1-10 paradigm. For some people, numbers don’t adequately capture the effect of creative projects. “It’s our responsibility to change the world, not conform to it.”
Celebrate each and every small success.