Top Ten ways our Unicorn Family Disappoints

  • We trash talk other nonprofits and bad-mouth foundations
  • We are defensive when given feedback and ignore good advice.
  • We believe (and act like) we are entitled to funds.
  • We say what we think foundations want to hear, whether it’s true or not.
  • We are not transparent with foundations about our challenges, setbacks, and needs.
  • We don’t follow grant guidelines and waste time and money by applying for grants that don’t fit.
  • We take funding rejections personally.
  • We act like martyrs and perpetuate a scarcity mentality.
  • We have an inferiority complex in relation to foundations.
  • We revert to funding pitch mode too frequently.
  • We trash talk other foundations and bad mouth nonprofits.
  • We give advice without understanding the context and don’t seek advice from nonprofits.
  • We don’t trust nonprofits to spend the money where they see it’s most needed.
  • We are not clear on what we do/don’t fund and rarely fund for more than one year at a time.
  • We have longer decision cycles than it takes to conceive and give birth to a baby.
  • We ask for extensive individualized info and evaluation for small amounts of money.
  • We let personal interests drive foundation strategies and set grant priorities without community and nonprofit input.
  • We punish nonprofits for having too much money in reserve.
  • We have a superiority complex in relation to nonprofits.
  • We exclude nonprofits from foundation gatherings because we don’t want them to pitch us.

By building EPIC Partnerships.

First, we have to stop being so crazy about money.

Second, we have got to start trusting each other.

  • Foundation people act in unpredictable individualized ways, make arbitrary decisions and aren’t responsive, think their time is more valuable than that of nonprofits, and feel they have the right to call all the shots.
  • Nonprofit people act in ways that are highly transactional, only care about getting more money, over-promise and under-deliver, take everything personally, and don’t know how to manage their organizations well or efficiently.

Third, we have got to sort out the ‘double-standards’ thing.

This is going to take work.

This is a movement, and we want you to join us.



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