When philanthropy heroines Jennifer Lentfer and Tanya Cothran invited me to submit chapters for their ground-breaking book about grassroots grantmaking, I was honored. I wrote a reflection about how the procedures of financial reporting can be transformational for communities and for grantmakers. I wrote a second short investigation into the challenges of communication between international NGOs and local NGOs. (I have a lot of experience with that problem.)
The just-published book is called Smart Risks: How Small Grants are Helping to Solve Some of the World’s Biggest Problems. Jennifer has already written about why she now feels that title doesn’t reflect the reality that people of color are less able to fail (and therefore to take risks) than white people.
I don’t love the title either, but for a different reason. It fails to highlight that the real cost of failed development grants is not born by grantmakers but by receiving communities.
These, and other important debates are IN the book. To read my chapters and others’, please buy it.