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Building Relationships: Advice From Funders
Episode 5414th March 2022 • Connected Philanthropy • Foundant Technologies
00:00:00 00:37:10

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Hear ideas and strategies from funders on how they are maintaining human connection in the time of COVID.

Topics:

  1. How are you building relationships with Grantees
  2. How are you building relationships with Funders
  3. How are you building relationships within your Organization

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Transcripts

Logan Colegrove:

Welcome to Connected Philanthropy. In today's episode, funders share strategies, ideas and concerns on building relationships. This discussion comes from a recorded coffee talk webinar that was moderated by Ashley Harper and Meredith Morgan. Let's dove right in.

Logan Colegrove:

Here's Meredith

Meredith Morgan:

The conversation that we want to have today as we as we enter basically the third year of living with COVID is a thinking about how we're able to start rebuilding connection in a safe way. How do we square this wheel? And that's that's something where beyond looking at the sector as a whole, we're also experiencing that here internally at Foundant as far as asking ourselves questions about how we how we build the relationships that we've had and continue to expand them.

Meredith Morgan:

So specifically today, the conversation that we want to have with you all is thinking about how you and your organizations are meeting this moment. How are you building and maintaining relationships with your grantees, with other funders and also internally and generally, what have you learned along the way? So to get started thinking about grantees and funders, I think that those are relationships that at the beginning of COVID, we had a lot of conversations, a lot of coffee talks early on in the pandemic talking about rapid response.

Meredith Morgan:

What are people doing right now? To get funds out the door as quickly as possible to coordinate efforts with with everybody that is also in this funding side of things? Now that we're three years on the work going on through the third year, how is that changed? Where are we today? How are we all doing?

Sarah:

Yeah. So I just wanted to mention something we started doing very quickly when we went remote in March. 2020 that we've kept doing that has gotten a lot of positive feedback from grantees, which is something that we call a grantee roundtable, which is just so we have three program officers, about six grants between the three of us and each of us for each of our grant programs has been running grant roundtables, which is just a virtual meeting space for our cohorts of grantees.

Sarah:

So nonprofits are receiving grants from that specific program. It's an optional joined, and it's just a place for them to meet and talk to each other, which has gotten a lot of positive feedback because they've told us they lost all of the networking they had with similar organizations and it's a really low lift. So we have a really small staff.

Sarah:

That's something that's really possible. I do it quarterly, my grantees, and I've just put out a date. I typically do a morning time and an afternoon time and just tell people, join if you can get, that's fine. I had two rounds last week and I had about 25 different staff attend across the two times, and I got a round of grant reports in just this January and the positive feedback just kept coming about how valuable those were, about how it was so great to connect with other staff.

Sarah:

A lot of connections happened between nonprofits. So for example, we have an art therapy organization and a refugee service organization, and they were able to partner to offer therapy to the refugee population of an organization that offers books to kids, and they were able to partner with organizations. And I just saw the chat and I did not have an agenda for that.

Sarah:

So again, it's a low list. I don't work on setting an agenda. I go in with you know, let's introduce ourselves. This was a new cohort, the one last week. And so I started out with something positive, which was a really nice, refreshing way to start. But in general, the organizations themselves drive the conversation. So it tends to be very different from group to group, and they ask questions of each other and they end up talking about issues that are really affecting them, which I think is more effective than me setting the agenda because I'm not on the ground.

Sarah:

So this has been really successful and I'm happy to talk more about about it as anybody is interested in operating on the chat. But it's a really low lift that's that's really, really paid off and had positive results. Thank you.

Meredith Morgan:

Yeah, that, that, that sounds ideal. And I. Is this something? Were you doing this before in person?

Sarah:

We actually worked. So this is something new for us. We were doing occasional site visits in person, but this is actually more contact during the year with our grantees than we were having.

Meredith Morgan:

Yeah. Thank you, Sarah. Appreciate that.

Meredith Morgan:

I am kind of curious about whether or not this is something that you're that you're having the grantees divvied up in any particular way or if this is something that you really are sort of like sending out an open call to the folks that are participating.

Sarah:

I can answer that. So it's divided by our grant program. So, for example, I managed to grant programs, so it would be my education grantees of which I have 20 right now, would be invited as a cohort. And then my other grant doesn't have grantees right now. We're reopening that soon, and they would be invited as a cohort.

Sarah:

Versus our arts program has a cohort. So it's similar organizations that are participating in the same grant program.

Meredith Morgan:

That makes a lot of sense. It's very cool.

Devon Potter:

My name's Devon Potter. I'm the development manager for the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. We're up in Alberta, Canada here, and we have something kind of similar to what was already discussed called Open Door Café, where we invite all of our agencies within our region, which is actually quite a vast region to come once a month and just meet virtually over the lunch hour.

Devon Potter:

We sometimes bringing guest speakers to talk about anything from, you know, how to cope with stress and balancing your life during this time, not to cause burnout, things like that, all the way to more pointed things about what the agencies are dealing with. And then we also just give each agency the opportunity to speak about what's going on within their organizations, that we have an awareness of what's happening in the region.

Devon Potter:

And between organizations. And through that, there's been a lot of collaboration between different agencies on projects and programing. So that's been really beneficial to to our region up here. Something else that we started doing within this last year is there was a big movement towards trust based philanthropy. And so in doing that, we've moved away from more of the traditional paperwork of a grant once you've received a grant of having to fill out lengthy paperwork.

Devon Potter:

So now we're doing there's still some paperwork required for our CRC requirements. However, we have been able to have more one on one conversations where we just meet with the organization and they tell us about all the projects and programing going on. They tell us what's been working for them, what hasn't been, how the funds have been used.

Devon Potter:

Sometimes if COVID safety allows, then we can actually go and do a tour of their organization and kind of see the impact that's been had. And it's just created a a greater open dialog it takes less time out of their day to fill out paperwork, and it's more beneficial in the conversations that are had where we can really kind of deep dove into what their needs are and and kind of know on, on our end if there's funding that we can provide or if down the road we hear something we can support them with.

Devon Potter:

And you know, it could be something as simple as, hey, we usually receive the grants this time of the year and it can be really beneficial to receive them two months earlier. As far as even just their year end audits go. Are they here in reporting? So something as simple as that all the way to here's this program, we really want to get kickstarted, but we don't know where to receive funding or how we could collaborate with another group and we might have that information too.

Devon Potter:

So we're we're really excited about this trust based philanthropy and how it's been positively impacting us and, and really diversifying our region. And being able to reach out to more organizations within our region.

Meredith Morgan:

Wow. Thank you, Devon. I appreciate that. Yeah. I always find it interesting if people are receiving any pushback from, you know, we so many of us have been very report based, paperwork based. We collect a lot whether or not we're using it. So I wonder if anyone's getting pushback on on the changes that they're making or are they welcome?

Linda Rice:

I'm Linda Rice. I'm the vice president for grantmaking at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. I am the program officer with two part time people that assist me, and we manage over 100 grants a year. But I wanted to share a couple of things that we've done to maintain relationships and one is calling day. We have always had Drop-In Day where once a month, the first Thursday of each month, anybody in our community could come and talk to a program officer.

Linda Rice:

And it's always worked quite well. But when we had to pivot to something other than visitation, we started calling day and that's worked equally as well. We give people at least 30 minutes one day a month and they call in. And the good news is most of these individuals are people that we have never met before, and we're able to invite them to other opportunities at the foundation.

Linda Rice:

And those opportunities are our affinity groups and somewhat like the last to speakers since 2015 we've offered affinity groups, we've divided the areas, sectors that we fund into eight different groups and we invite nonprofits to participate three times a year in a conversation. It's a meeting without an agenda. It was started because when I came to the foundation, I had been in higher education for many years and really did not know the nonprofit sector like I should.

Linda Rice:

So I wanted a learning community, which was a term I was familiar with from higher education. So we started with five groups and we've expanded to eight. But as a result of that, over time, the relationship ships have become so strong between our nonprofits that they now collaborate and I don't have to be in the middle of it anymore, but they share so much information with me that I'm able to share with some of our newer organizations and when people call in and they are new to us, I always invite them to an affinity group if they're interested, and that seems to be working.

Linda Rice:

The more senior organizations in our community are now helping the younger organizations start and start well. The other thing that we have continued through COVID is our training. We use I did some training in the office and we do have an academy and we fund an academy at a local institution. But to in order to establish relationships with some people who would maybe not come to our affinity groups or I would you know, I started just doing simple trainings, like, what is an outcome?

Linda Rice:

How do you use a program logic model? How do you develop a survey? Where do you find data things that we're really comfortable with, comfortable to me. And I do about an hour and a half, and I do those each three times a year. So it allows us to have great relationships with people. So the bottom line is that we have had better attendance at training and better attendance at the affinity groups since we've gone virtual.

Linda Rice:

So we're not turning back. We're going to keep everything virtual and allow people to participate who might not otherwise be able to participate in our area. We have a lot of bridges and tunnels and they get jammed up and you don't have that with virtual setting. So that's enough for now. But those are some things that we're doing.

Meredith Morgan:

Linda, thank you. Mimi had a question for you, which is how how does your team, how do you market the call in days how do people know about them?

Linda Rice:

Great question. It's on our website. We announce that we announce up front at the beginning of the year. These are our training days. These are our affinity group days, and these are our polling days.

Linda Rice:

And so then we put it on social media as we're leading up to the day. And people contact us, we have a email address and you just contact that email address and the person that answers those emails sets up an appointment and communicates with each of the nonprofits and works quite well. Nonprofits love it. Somebody ask about Does our website have the affinity group information?

Linda Rice:

And the answer is no. And that may sound odd. But one of the things that you know from interpersonal relationship dynamics every time you bring a new person into a group, it changes the dynamic of the group. So what I try really hard to do is invite two and three new people to the groups each time so that we don't get inundated with maybe 100 people that want to come in.

Linda Rice:

Then I can't manage it virtually in the the real conversation doesn't occur that now occurs, makes people feel kind of special to get an invitation to an affinity group. Well, thank you.

Meredith Morgan:

Thanks for sharing, Linda.

N/A:

So I'm in kind of a particular funding situation where I work for a nonprofit called Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, and I am Grant-making with funds that have been given to us by the organization that funds our department. And so we have a capacity building grant program. That's $3.3 million that I manage to a specific set of eligible zoos and aquariums in a seven state region that is set by that funder who's funding us but it is a full grantmaking program and it's pretty new.

N/A:

I only started my job about a year ago and we only had one grand round before I began. So we've kind of been building everything from the ground up, which has been challenging but also really rewarding. I come from a position before where I was doing the grant writing and management and prospect research and reporting and all of that, and so has my boss.

N/A:

And so we've kind of thought about what worked for us and what didn't work for us when we were on the other side. And how can we make it easier for grantees? And as I mentioned in the chat, we have an evaluation specialist on our team who has been so helpful because I I am my brain does not think in outcomes and objectives.

N/A:

And so having her create templates for our grantees, we have two different tiers. The whole program is about capacity building. So the projects run a whole span depending on the organization. But we have one tier of grantees who are under $50,000 and then one that's up to $250,000. And so for those larger grants that are up to two years, there's an evaluation template that has a lot of definitions and evaluation terms, and then also takes them through each objective of their application.

N/A:

Some of them have three, some just have one and breaks it down into indicators and audiences, and our evaluation specialist meets with them multiple times to fill it out. So it's not just a mountain of paperwork for them to all do, but it's really a collaborative process. And I'm trying to make the the grantee funder relationship also really collaborative, asking for feedback on our application on our reports on every piece of the process so that we can be continually updating it and lessening the burden for both of us.

Meredith Morgan:

That's really great professional development for your grantees. You know, in addition to the to the funding, you're building their capacity with connecting them to that specialist that's fantastic.

N/A:

Yeah. So we just finished our second round reviews and got all those contracts out the door. And then we have one more round that begins in the spring and hopefully we'll get funded again on this grant and have more rounds to come.

Meredith Morgan:

Wonderful. Thank you. I guess I will go ahead and skip over to ask about funders. While we can certainly be, we can certainly circle back to other granted years. But, you know, this is something that maybe hasn't been as much of a priority as working with your grantees. How are you connecting now with other funders in this isolating time?

N/A:

We participated in a couple of Thunder collaboratives, which I think has been a positive experience And we where, we funded six counties in Florida and three geographic areas and two of those regions. We've worked together just recently with other funders to develop a wellness program called Help the Helpers. I don't know that's don't know if it was just design.

N/A:

It started in the West Palm Beach area, and then we've moved it into Miami-Dade as well. We're looking to incorporating it here in Tampa Bay. But it's an opportunity for funders to get together and address the stress and burden of nonprofit staffing who have worked tirelessly during this pandemic and given them some funding for and giving them options to choose what they want to do.

N/A:

But all around the area of wellness, it could be gift cards, it could be maybe a spa day, it could be a variety of different purposes. But different funders have come together. And based on the number of staffing we have awarded cash grants per employee or a certain dollar amount, that in that nonprofit gets to decide how we use that.

N/A:

But we've done that in two areas. And it's been very positive, and we're looking forward to doing that here in Tampa Bay.

Meredith Morgan:

Great. Thank you.

Robin:

So we've been we've been working with other funders in a couple of different ways. We're a small foundation, but, you know, working with orgs locally, regionally and nationally. And so one of the cool things that I thought was so cool that we did recently was with the local women's foundation. We did a listening session of a bunch of of nonprofit leaders all in our network that we've worked with over the past six years.

Robin:

We invited them to a really short 35 minute call just to kind of hear what's going on for them and hear what they're what's what's going on in their organizations, but also just in their in their own leadership journeys. And we heard a lot and I know it's going to inform a lot of other opportunities that we're exploring this year.

Robin:

So I'm glad that we ended up making space for that call. It was a short, you know, low lift for everybody. A short amount of time for leaders. And it's it's already turned into things that we're doing between our grant program kind of collaborative programs. Across our dockets, connecting nonprofit leaders with other organizations or inviting inviting people to webinar different themes, content that we have throughout the year.

Robin:

And then we're also I'm working on writing, writing pieces that have funders as the primary audience, specifically individuals with DAPs. And so I'm excited about that. And I think that's that's always been a primary audience, but it's a it's a new way that we're working this year and a little bit of last year.

Meredith Morgan:

Thank you, Robin.

Meredith Morgan:

I'd add to that it feels like everybody is is juggling and has been juggling for the past, you know, the past eration of this. This time we're living through so many different balls. And that's something that when we think about making the time, carving out the time to have some of these sessions, sometimes it happens that we've set aside the time.

Meredith Morgan:

But when we get to it, people are a little wiped out. So that's the thing that I think it's worth noting that as well. Even when the good intentions are there and you've got the the the affinity group across the state that you're operating in to be trying to reach out across across different lines, it's really easy to get your head down and like keep doing what we do.

Meredith Morgan:

So. So that's a challenge too.

Meredith Morgan:

So as far as thinking about where things stand, sort of high level big picture I alluded to earlier that this thinking about how we're building relationships within the organization is definitely something that we're thinking about internally here at Foundant. When I joined the team, it was a few months before the pandemic started, and at that time we had about 150 employees today.

Meredith Morgan:

The last I checked, we had over 220. And so, you know, that were a pretty friendly bunch over it found him. But as you can imagine, it's been a challenge to not only maintain our existing relationships, but also build that many new ones. So it's all things considered. I think we're doing a pretty great job, but I'd be lying if I said that this wasn't a challenge.

Meredith Morgan:

We learn from what you guys do in so many ways when we think about how we improve the tools that you're using and what challenges specifically you're facing in the sector. But we also learn from you more broadly, and I hoping that somebody would be happy to talk about how are you maintaining the relationships within your staff. We looked earlier about the size of staffs that we have represented here on this call, and we have some smaller staffs.

Meredith Morgan:

We also have some pretty large staffs, not necessarily in the 220 range, but still 50 people trying to stay connected and do the work that you all are doing in your communities. It's it's, I imagine, a challenge. I can tell you, like I'm seeing Sara, your your hand is raised well.

Sarah:

And I just I this is typically not necessarily within my organization, but I manage a collaborative as a scholarship provider. So a little bit of the thunder a piece but that we had a meeting this morning that was supposed to be about supports for students and turned into supports for us because we recognize that all of us are in this really burnout struggling phase.

Sarah:

So many of our students are struggling with mental health and we're hearing a lot, but so are we. And so at the end of the meeting, someone just said, you know, I really appreciate having the space to just come and share and have this community. And so within our organization, within my team, we meet every couple of weeks just for like coffee and chatting.

Sarah:

And so it's a space where we don't bring grants and stuff into it, but we're just talking about what's going on in our lives. But that really struck me this morning. Someone say explicitly, I really appreciated having this space where we're all kind of doing the same type of work, but we're talking about us and what we need and not like, how can we save the world?

Sarah:

So yeah, just our offering that I don't know what I'm having, I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet. I am a social worker and a therapist by training. So we're talking about do we have office that works for students to come. They need to have that space and they feel safe with us or but yeah, just realizing how much we're all caring what we can do to recognize that.

Meredith Morgan:

It's a great perspective. Sarah, in terms of thinking about you with your additional roles as a social worker and a therapist, I'm sure you're seeing a lot of stuff that's getting to go on and in a bunch of different, you know.

Linda Rice:

Intellectual ways and a lot of a lot of opportunity to flex those skills right now.

Meredith Morgan:

Yeah, definitely. Definitely. There's moments made for you.

Linda Rice:

But I was.

Linda Rice:

Just going to piggyback on what she was just saying. You know, the one thing I've been in my position at the community, a foundation in for six months. And so meeting all these people is a mental wellness alliance coordinator and everyone's burned out. You know, the therapists are burned out and time is an issue of connecting with others when they're not because their time is so precious.

Linda Rice:

And one thing I tried to do is get people to say, let's go on a walk. Let's just go on a 45 minute walk and talk about us and not the work we're doing and take some deep breaths. And it's it's been kind of every time we're done with the walk, everybody just feels a little more connected. Feels that safety net of, Wow, we can just talk both of us about each other.

Linda Rice:

And ourselves.

Linda Rice:

Instead of all the energy respending on a regular basis and other people that make sense.

Meredith Morgan:

Absolutely. It's it's that sort of airplane safety manual idea that you've got to put your mask on before you can help other people off the plane.

Meredith Morgan:

Right?

Meredith Morgan:

Erin, it looks like your hand is raised, too.

Erin:

We used to have it twice a month. Now we're moving it to once a month. But we have one call. We're not in the office of the we are in three different geographic locations. And now and most people are working remotely, but we have one meeting that we rotate the responsibility. So the office PERS operations person is not responsible for doing all this.

Erin:

We rotate responsibilities and we have an opening reflection. And then there's an activity and that's we do that. We do that twice a month, and now we're doing it once a month. But it's also a time to not focus on work to have fun. Sometimes it might be somewhat focused on work who might have a theme like we're transitioning to focus on climate justice and so, you know, I did a quiz on climate justice and I had a reflection that might have been the song or something like that.

Erin:

But sometimes some place categories or sometimes you know, we've done yoga before, so all virtual. So it's fun and you never know what you know. We have a great group of staff that's very creative and outgoing and up for anything. And so it's I look forward to that meeting that we you never know what's coming. And it's a fun time to just get to connect with our employees.

Erin:

I was on the call the other day. One of the questions was how many of you all have employees that you've never met before in person? And there was like a large number just because the way things have been and we have a relatively new employee that hasn't met you know, several of our staff because they're located on the East Coast of Florida.

Erin:

So that just we just be mindful of that. And actually, she got married recently and we haven't done some type of celebration type thing in a while. So we unintentionally created a party planning committee and we did a bridal shower for her. So a couple of people were in person and the rest were virtual. But it's still worked out and it was a great experience.

Meredith Morgan:

So that is fantastic. Erins it's a it's such a where so I mentioned at the beginning of the call we're remote I have met, actually, I'm happy to tell you, but there are a number of people on our team that that neither of us are. Well, actually, actually, you you got to head out to Montana this summer. But, but we haven't met a lot of our team members, which feels kind of crazy because it's people we're seeing maybe every like we do three Check-Ins a week just on our individual team.

Meredith Morgan:

So it's an odd thing once we get to actually be in-person. I'm going to be surprised by how tall some people are, you know, like, oh, just the things you can't pick up on, on Zoom.

Meredith Morgan:

And I did want to shout out Suzy Boyer on our team, our HR manager who has been and I'm sure there are some other folks as well who've helped, but have been really good at when we do have big.

Meredith Morgan:

Company meetings.

Meredith Morgan:

That used to be in person. One time we had a comedian that she recruited that did a little comedy show for us. We've had a number of breakout rooms where.

Meredith Morgan:

People on the team.

Meredith Morgan:

Can talk about different things like recipes or bring.

Meredith Morgan:

Your pets. Or we.

Meredith Morgan:

Had one where we just shared a bunch of ridiculous YouTube videos. You know, it's been pretty, pretty creative, pretty and informal, familiar. But just to give some levity. To the never ending.

Meredith Morgan:

Zoom meeting.

Sarah:

Mm hmm.

Meredith Morgan:

That's definitely been something that does make it a little bit more bearable to sit through our day long thing on Zoom, which I'm sure everybody's got some relatable experience with on. Now, Robin, I know you had mentioned in the chat that you have arranged some some art groups, and doing those is sort of like an additional piece for team building.

Meredith Morgan:

I'd love to hear more about what you've got going on there.

Robin:

Sure. Happy to share we are. I'm a huge fan of artsy fartsy times with my kids, and I just thought, like, why not? I have this amazing a list of a bunch of art supplies, so why not suggest this to our team? So we actually used some of our health and wellness kind of budget to support team members purchasing like watercolors, like little things, you know, but we've been doing it, I think, about once a month, maybe almost that.

Robin:

And it's just been a nice way to connect about something other than other than work. And it's, it's usually depending on the person who's leading the activity. I'm using air quotes you know, usually teaches us a lot about how people grew up and, and it's just always really, really helpful to, to see people in that different ways. So we've been doing that and I'm excited to try more of the walking meetings, as you know, suggested to things.

Meredith Morgan:

I love these these suggestions because I do think one of the things that can be a challenge is with things like having office hours is that it's another thing to do. And then you feel like, oh, I should talk to somebody, I should schedule that, but I don't really have an agenda. So I don't know if I'm going to be wasting their time.

Meredith Morgan:

If it's something like going for a walk painting with watercolors, which sounds like so delightfully therapeutic that's something that takes some of that pressure off because you're doing something. You're deciding to do something that's not work related, and that's what we do for the set amount of time. It's lovely I'm curious about anybody that's having the experience of going back to the office on a hybrid level, thinking about splitting your time between the office and home, if if that's something that's making you feel like more or less connected, if anybody does have thoughts on that, I'm seeing a couple of hands raised, so I'm going to call on Meredith first, not just because we share a

Meredith Morgan:

name, but I think your name went up first hand. Went up first.

Ashley Harper:

Yeah. So we have kind of gone back and forth quite a few times. And every time we've had a surge here, we're in Naples, Florida, southwest Florida, and then we would go back home for a period of time. But most of this time in the last couple of surges, we've just gone back to hybrid where we split the staff.

Ashley Harper:

So that basically half the staff is there twice a week, and the other half of the staff is there twice a week. With Fridays, we're alternating and our our CEOs in most days just because we do have a lot of people who want that in-person touch. And a lot of our donors are older, obviously south of Florida, is an older area.

Ashley Harper:

And, you know, we can't do everything virtually. I have a lot of donors that can barely open an attachment in an email. So it's really important that they have that time with me. I'm the director of donor services, so but I like the hybrid. But I would say that we do find that communication sometimes gets a little bit when we are hybrid.

Ashley Harper:

There are things that kind of there is something missing. It's very when we get together and we're all together in these periods of time in between when things have died down a bit and it's been safer to be together. Like our team is a great, really fun connected team. And I do think everyone feels a disconnect. However, I do happen to enjoy having some days at home a little bit.

Ashley Harper:

I just don't. But I will also welcome when we go back to being in-person because it does change the dynamic of our team. Like we're just not quite as connected. And I find that communication isn't quite, quite as good. I think we get a little insulated in our silos when we're all at home and, you know, get focused on our work and then we kind of forget, you know, we we don't have those little, you know, phone conversations that you have when everybody's in the office and then that also gets work done.

Meredith Morgan:

Definitely, I think it's it's a thing where I am happy to be hearing about all of these folks that, you know, looking at their teams are like, you have such a fun team. It makes me so excited for the day when we actually do get to get back in touch and sit down. Because right now, to your point, Meredith, I think you know, rather than having the sort of watercooler moment where we talk about whatever, you know, weekend plans we have, we're dealing with like what is the what is the classwork for my my child going on in the next room about what is what is going on there.

Meredith Morgan:

So it doesn't necessarily pull us together in the same way as the just seeing people in person really does that's a tricky thing. I think it's also that everybody, you know, has a different sense of what what personal space looks like these days. I think that it's it's whether or not we acknowledge it explicitly. I think it's there that there's been a shift.

Meredith Morgan:

It'll definitely be interesting to see people coming back together again. And I know thinking about the the headquarters in Bozeman for us, I know we definitely see some people that are always in the office but I've heard they're kind of in the same boat of of it's only a handful of people in a big building and it can feel a little lonely even when you're actually in person.

Meredith Morgan:

Especially without all the.

Meredith Morgan:

Dogs

Ashley Harper:

I know. And the dogs make everything better. One good thing about working.

Ashley Harper:

From home, we've got our pets.

Meredith Morgan:

Not for me. I don't have a dog, but at least I have a cranky

Ashley Harper:

You have a cat!

Meredith Morgan:

Yeah, but she's cranky, so I miss that. We found a puppy. So well, we could talk about dogs all day here. About ten or pets. You have no idea. Actually, Jessica, I'm curious about this. Anybody on a team of one? Wow, that's a great question.

Meredith Morgan:

How are people with a team of one handling if we have anybody on the call?

Linda Rice:

I'm not a team of one. I work with a team of 15 however, I work with a lot of non-profits that are a team of one. And early on and the pandemic, I just announced every affinity group, every training group, and everybody that called me, I gave them my personal cell phone number and my colleagues thought I was crazy.

Linda Rice:

But I can tell you it was worth every minute I've spent on the phone. Nobody has abused it. People text me things and ask if they can call but it's brought such joy for me in the middle of a busy day to get a text or call from somebody who just needs to talk either my colleagues or these nonprofits.

Linda Rice:

So if you've been hesitant about giving out your cell phone number, I encourage you to do it because it really does bring joy many times in a day. That's a little bit dark. Thank you.

Meredith Morgan:

I love that story. I think it's something that I think the fear is always that there will be a lot of grantees that you want to like it up your time. But I think, you know, generally speaking, it's people are pretty respectful of boundaries and not wanting to transgress, but hearing more from what people are doing in the field, especially when they're on their own.

Meredith Morgan:

It's such a great opportunity to build a really solid relationship with with who you're working with.

Ashley Harper:

Appreciate that.

Meredith Morgan:

Thinking about wrapping up here. So I'm not saying any hands. I hope everybody has a great rest of the week and hope we'll talk to you again soon.

Ashley Harper:

Thanks, everyone.

Logan Colegrove:

So that was our conversation. New episodes of Connected Philanthropy release every other Monday. So make sure you subscribe if you'd like to hear more conversations like this, connect directly with other members of the philanthropic community by joining community.foundant.com from all of us here at Foundant. Thanks for connecting.