A growing body of work is being undertaken by foundations with the help of intermediary organizations. For a funder, working with an intermediary has the potential to greatly enhance the funder's impact with their constituents, bringing needed expertise, skills, connections, infrastructure, and objectivity. For an intermediary, working with a funder can expand impact and reach, provide a financial base, and increase visibility and credibility. Win - win, right? Well, these relationships can also be difficult to manage for both the funder and the intermediary, and in the worst case, contribute to ineffectiveness of the joint work. Fieldstone Alliance hoped to learn more about critical success factors that lead to positive, mutually beneficial relationships between funders and intermediaries. An online survey was used to gather experiences from both funders and intermediaries. These success factors could then be used by both funders and intermediaries as a guide when developing contracts or grants, and as a tool to manage the ongoing work of the partnership. The following report includes highlights from the survey.
- The majority of respondents are generally satisfied with both the relationships and the results they’ve experienced through funder and intermediary relationships.
- The majority of respondents intend to do at least the same amount of work in the future, if not more, through funder--intermediary relationships.
- The main challenges each group has experienced are somewhat similar and manageable: lack of clarity about goals, roles, and deliverables; underestimation of costs; the amount of funder oversight required; and communications with grantees.