Strategic Partnerships: Philanthropy’s New Normal


I recently settled in for a coffee with the development director from a local cultural institution. After the requisite niceties, the conversation predictably turned to “the ask”—could my company provide financial support for the upcoming season? With little hesitation, I delivered the hard truth—no, and there would be no further consideration without a significant change in how the organization requested funding. Flash back nearly a year earlier, when I had a similar conversation with the same group. I explained that philanthropic requests had to align with our company’s mission, our specific target areas for funding and had to be advantageous for both organizations.

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