KEEPING IN TOUCH, BUILDING TRUST (A FUNDERS REPORT FROM THE VIRTUAL FRONT LINES) – BY JENNIFER NEGRON
Nine years ago, when I was on the grantee side of the table, I always looked forward to site visits from The Pinkerton Foundation. I felt I had a special relationship with Pinkerton, and I enjoyed hosting the visits because I knew that if something went wrong, they would understand. I remember feeling I could have honest conversations about what was working and what was not, and that if there were problems, I would be connected to the people or resources that could support me. Today, I am a program officer with Pinkerton, and I’ve come to learn that my grantee experience was not an exception. We take pride in building relationships with the people and organizations we help fund. We do this by listening carefully to our grantees – by taking the time to learn their stories, to explore the passions that drive their work, and most importantly, by talking to their participants to get a nuanced, first-hand perspective from the people who count the most.