While there’s always room for innovative ideas, “There are more than a million public charities throughout the U.S., and there’s a ton of duplication out there, where everybody’s chasing the same dollar.” You could end up competing with other groups for charitable donations.
Part of sharpening your focus is realizing your foundation can’t be all things to all people. Still, you may be able to broaden your impact by looking for ways to partner with other private foundations doing complementary work, Sutton suggests. One way to find them is through organizations or conferences. Sutton adds, “If you can combine your strengths, focus and research, quite often family foundations can get a lot more done together than they can on their own.”
Don’t wait for perfect
As important as it is to define your mission and hone your approach, don’t let advance planning handcuff you. “It’s called practicing philanthropy. Don’t wait for perfect,” Sutton says. “You’re going to make mistakes.”
It’s called practicing philanthropy. Don’t wait for perfect. You’re going to make mistakes.