We can all agree we live in times of heightened uncertainty, or at the very least that it FEELS that way. The unknown and unpredictable can be very scary, problems are multiplied and you and your organization can feel alone and isolated in your work. We truly believe that the cure for uncertainty is coming together with others. In times like this, it is the pluralism and collective resourcing, supporting each other that get’s us through. In our sector we saw this play out in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and we want to continue that trend. This is why our priority at the Foundation is to build even deeper relationships with our grantees and other funding partners.
It’s a completely natural response, in times like these, to want to regain control in some way. So the tendency is to grip that steering wheel and get us through to the other side. To any new drivers reading this post, gripping the wheel is NEVER a good idea. Funders like us like to be in drivers seat, invited or not, but that is not our natural role. However, we have a critical role to play, we are here to support the star players. Our grantees are the ones doing the heavy lifting for the team, the Foundation is there to support the starting line-up do what they do best. Because it does take an ENTIRE team working together towards the same goal. And to continue on this metaphor train, because why not, we have to actively question and reflect on our role on the BIGGER team.
Okay a confession, we officially lost count of how many crisis we are living through at the moment, but MANY. You know, healthcare, housing, workforce, overdoes, environment, inflation, wars – the list gets bigger by the minute. The truth is that it can be overwhelming to navigate especially if you have big ambitious goals like we and our grantees do. Tackling these big goals is complex in the best of times but especially in the face of the multi-crisis environment where the ground is shifting constantly and continuously. Where do we even begin? Is it even possible, is it too late? These and many MORE are questions that many of us are grappling with but one cliche is still true today: in crisis there is opportunity, why waste it? Who new vaccine’s can be developed and deployed in a mater of months?
The challenge of meeting half way. Even in the best of times it is difficult to be in sync especially if, like us, you are advocating for a more collaborative systems. In our opinion, decision making at the top must at the minimum, be led by real experiences on the ground. We believe this approach increases the capacity for solutions to get implemented in an effective, sustainable and impactful manner. The current multi-crisis environment magnifies the pressures on our sector. We want to stand with our grantees by not adding to the existing pressures but helping them navigate through the multiple challenges ahead, and yes sometimes the entire structures need to be re-examined. WHY are we doing this – should always be top of mind. If processes and decision making are not supporting the why then let’s change them, together.
We have a couple of new starts brewing up and it is both nerve-racking and exhilarating at the same time. We are hopeful about the potential impact and daunted by the long-term and complex nature of the work. We will charge ahead with our grantees and our partners in seeing these fresh starts through, because the alternative is not acceptable. Follow us if you are curious about learning more.