(This post originally appeared on GrantCraft.org and was written by Rosien Herweijer, co-author of the guide Foundations Moving On: Ending Programmes and Funding Relationships)
Funders struggle with endings more than with entries. Yet, we seem have a lot of tools to support decision-making on giving grants, starting programs, entering fields and countries; however, we lack resources for developing strategies to move on. Do we actually invest enough time and thought in exits?
Probably not. Funders can still improve their exit practices considerably. As a practitioner suggested: making a ‘good’ exit is not rocket science, but it can be complicated. In a GrantCraft webinar conducted last year, none of the participants actually felt the exit they had been involved with was well planned or executed, and nearly 60% said the exit may not have been a complete surprise but could have been managed better. To support funders in rethinking their exit practices, GrantCraft has launched a new guide on exit practices: Foundations Moving On: Ending Programmes and Funding Relationships.
All funders somehow have to deal with exits. Venture philanthropist and limited-life or spend-out foundations tend to be very deliberate about exits, but other grantmaking or operating foundations also change strategic priorities, leave fields, or leave countries. And on a smaller scale, project funding ends automatically or – in rare cases – has to be withdrawn. You cannot wait for all the complicated questions to pop-up once an exit decision looms. And once you make and communicate a decision to exit, you need a lot of answers… Read more»