The Art of Discovery

The partnership discovery process is an important step for both funders and nonprofits when considering engaging for the first time. It can be an anxious process given how high the stakes are. It doesn’t have to be, and with a little bit of preparation and planning, you can meet organizations aligned to work with you.

This discovery process typically involves a series of meetings or discussions between two two parties, during which they can learn more about each other’s goals, priorities, and areas of focus. In a first meeting, it’s usually a good idea to keep the number of attendees small so that you can get enough information to bring in the appropriate decision-makers for the next meeting. The goal of a discovery meeting is to get a second meeting to discuss a specific opportunity, or if you’ve landed on that opportunity in your first meeting (lucky you!) then the goal is a clear next step toward formalizing your partnership – usually through a proposal, application, or presentation.

For funders, the partnership discovery process is an opportunity to learn more about the organizations and programs that they may be considering investing in. This can include learning about the organization’s mission and goals, its programs and initiatives, and its track record of success. Funders may also want to learn about the organization’s financial health and sustainability, as well as its plans for the future.

For nonprofits, the partnership discovery process is an opportunity to showcase the work that they do and the impact that they have on the communities they serve. Nonprofits can share information about their programs and initiatives, as well as their plans for the future. They can also provide information about their financial health and sustainability, and can discuss their goals and priorities for the coming years.

Both funders and nonprofits need to consider a number of factors when engaging for the first time. For funders, this may include evaluating the organization’s track record and impact, as well as its plans for the future. For nonprofits, it may include showcasing their work and impact, and demonstrating their ability to effectively use funding to achieve their goals.

Ultimately, the partnership discovery process is an important step in establishing a successful relationship between funders and nonprofits. By engaging in open and honest discussions, both sides can learn more about each other and determine if a partnership is a good fit. This can help to ensure that any funding provided is used effectively and has a meaningful impact on the communities that the nonprofit serves.

If you are a nonprofit, here are some potential questions to ask a funder when they are considering investing in your nonprofit:

  • What are the key areas or programs that your organization focuses on funding?
  • Are there any specific criteria or priorities that your organization has when considering funding opportunities?
  • Can you provide any guidance on the types of organizations or programs that you typically fund?
  • Are there any specific metrics or outcomes that your organization looks for when evaluating potential investments?
  • Can you share any insights or advice on how to best position our organization or program for success in securing funding from your organization?

These questions can help you better understand the funder’s priorities and preferences, and can help you tailor your pitch or proposal to better align with their goals and objectives. It’s always a good idea to ask questions and do research before approaching potential funders, as this can help you make a stronger case for why your organization is worth investing in.

If you are a funder, here are some potential questions to ask a nonprofit during a discovery conversation:

  • Can you tell me more about your organization and its mission?
  • What are your organization’s key programs or initiatives, and how do they align with your mission?
  • Can you provide more details about the impact that your organization has had on the communities you serve?
  • What are your organization’s financial health and sustainability?
  • Can you provide more information about your plans for the future, and how this funding would help support those plans?

These questions can help the funder learn more about the organization and its work, and can help them determine if investing in the nonprofit is a good fit with their own goals and priorities. It’s important for the nonprofit to be prepared to answer these questions and provide detailed and accurate information, as this can help to build trust and establish a strong foundation for a potential partnership.

What are the best ways for funders and nonprofits to meet and engage in discovery conversations?

  • Orgmatch is the best way to assess, match, and connect with other organizations to have discovery conversations. It’s free to sign up and get started.
  • Joining an industry association, group, or committee.
  • Attending conferences and events.
  • Attending workshops and training sessions.
  • Hosting an event or networking opportunity to connect with you.

Need more support for your impact partnerships? Orgmatch can help. Get in touch with us.