A client (who runs and organization that does social science research for non profits) told me he had met with the head of a major foundation. The Foundation Guy suggested setting up an advisory committee. Eyes rolled. The last thing I need, my client thought, is to have an advisory committee telling me what to do. But when Foundation Guy explained what he meant, it became clear how brilliant this idea was.
Several of the organizations that commission research from my client also get funding from this foundation. So why not set up an advisory committee that will include Foundation Guy, researcher, and the organizations that are (a) asking my client to do research and then (b) asking Foundation Guy for funding to implement the strategy that arises from the research? That way, Foundation Guy is in on the discussions from the beginning, and everyone wins.
When my client told me this, I told him that he was moving from being a fundraiser to being a power broker. That’s a way to turbo-charge your donor relationships!