Elsewhere online
March 28, 2016

Donors and Foundations Say There's Value in Saying 'No'

Turning down requests and funding is sometimes not only necessary but also vital for both donors and would-be recipients, helping clarify mission and focus on both sides, giving experts tell New York Times

wealth columnist Paul Sullivan.

It's important to turn down requests directly but with compassion, said John Oddy, senior philanthropic director at Foundation Source. “Part of giving them the news is allowing them to feel like they’ve done everything they could — to the extent that you can validate their cause or their effort while at the same time saying this isn’t a great fit,” he said.

For the groups making the ask, a "no" can be a spur to evaluate why they didn't make the grade. Carrie Morgridge, vice president of the Morgridge Family Foundation, said organizations seeking grants or gifts should ask why they were turned down to see how they might get a different answer the next time around. “If someone says no, act graciously, and ask, ‘What do I need to do to turn this into a yes?’” she said.