The Meyer Foundation: Thoughtfully Controlling Decisions

At the Meyer Foundation, who’s in control of key decisions related to its Management Assistance Program grants is something foundation staff approach with intentionality. “Even in situations where a program officer identifies a capacity building need and suggests to an organization that it should consider applying for a MAP grant, no one follows up with them and says, ‘We said you should do this. Why haven’t you done this?’” says Rick Moyers, vice president of programs and communications. “We’re also very clear that grantees choose who they want to work with when grants include hiring consultants. And we don’t require that work products delivered by consultants be shared with foundation staff. Sometimes people share consultant products voluntarily, or sometimes I run across them later. But we want everyone to understand we’re not the client.” That means at times clarifying who’s the client with consultants. “Sometimes consultants try to talk with us in detail about the project, and we have to deflect those conversations,” says Moyers. “We’ve had to say, ‘Please don’t share information that should be held between you and your client.’”

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