Philanthropy: Licensed to Risk Plus What’s New in 2022

Dear Friends,

I’ve been thinking a lot about risk recently, both personally and professionally. From sending the kids back to school, to mask selection, and re-entry decisions about travel and gatherings, it all presents risk-related mental calculus that is new and stress inducing. But of all the risks our family has taken this year, none felt as big and stressful as the rite of passage of our teenage son getting his driver’s license. With everything that can go wrong on the road, the risks feel huge. But through driving instruction, lots of practice, and ensuring the old car he uses had a check-up to verify its safety, we addressed those risks and are now benefitting from the pretty big reward of freedom from carpools and surprise errand runs.

Basically, by investing in technical assistance for his instruction, equipment maintenance to mitigate any unforeseen issues, and making time for honest conversations, we were able to arrive at a place where the risk seemed manageable for all concerned and our power of the purse was used to cushion potential blows (or blowouts). New Risk eCourse LaunchesIn my professional life, this all reminds me of our latest eCourse for funders in Candid Learning, Risk & Reward: Safeguarding Impact in an Uncertain World . The course is designed to help funders re-think risk and understand how it can be used and misused in due diligence processes. One need look no further than the events of the last two years to understand the importance of considering the power of the unexpected to disrupt and derail the best laid plans. How can funders safeguard impact in an uncertain world? How can the exercise of risk mitigation support grantee efforts rather than create a burdensome process? And how does paying attention to risk support innovation, learning, and continuous improvement? Candid Learning teamed up with Open Road Alliance, a long-time advocate of using risk mitigation strategies as a form of social sector strengthening, to develop this new, free eLearning course to help funders use risk management to preserve impact in an uncertain world. Click here to learn more and register. Coming in 2022With the end of the year fast approaching, plans are in full swing for new or updated offerings next year, so I also wanted to use this message to give you all a sneak peek:GrantCraft Web RedesignFirst up, we will be redesigning the GrantCraft website to better align it with our Candid brand, and aiming to deliver on our goal to strengthen and streamline Candid Learning tools so our audiences can more easily find what they need. With any good web redesign comes the exercise of taking a hard look at which tools and content are and are not getting used, and then pruning accordingly to make room for the new. Otherwise, over time, one might end up with a website that resembles an overstuffed closet. So, after reviewing recent trends in GrantCraft website usage, we discovered that the personalized dashboard is getting relatively little use, so for those of you who have created personal libraries there, please be sure to take a moment to download the contents or bookmark them elsewhere, as we will be removing the dashboard function in January 2022.[email protected] Cards ReturnAlong with the redesign of the site, we also have some new tools launching in 2022. In the first quarter, I am excited to report that thanks to support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a GrantCraft classic will return with the re-launch of the [email protected] cards. For the uninitiated, the [email protected] cards are a physical deck of cards that make facilitating reflective practice fun. The cards were designed to help program officers consider the many roles they must play and think about how to strike a balance. The new and expanded [email protected] deck has been enhanced to also include roles for program staff at nonprofit organizations, so they will now also make an excellent resource for both grantee and grantmaker gatherings. New GrantCraft Climate Justice GuideIn 2022 GrantCraft also will be issuing a new field guide for funders focused on funding climate justice. Despite its urgency and potential, according to Candid data, most institutional funders are opting out of incorporating climate strategies into their work, largely relegating it to a few environmental funders. As a result of underestimating its importance and its connection to other philanthropic priorities, not enough funding is flowing to climate change efforts and even less of it for ameliorating its toll on vulnerable populations. To address this gap, Candid will launch a new GrantCraft field guide in the spring, focused on the why and how of supporting climate in an integrated way, exploring how to use a justice lens with both climate mitigation and adaptation funding strategies, and how to embed it within existing priorities such as human rights, public health, and economic development. The field guide will identify common barriers to the development of more holistic support strategies by foundations, ways to overcome them, and share case studies from experienced funders who have helped their institutions use a climate justice lens for greater impact within their existing grantmaking priorities. We are currently in the process of curating these case studies, so if your foundation has experience in this area and would like to become involved, please contact meWishing you all a safe and rewarding end of year season.

Janet Camarena