Looking back, I have worked at two “foundations” in my short nonprofit career, without intending so. What I did and do is a part of these “foundation”s’ work, not necessarily thinking about “funding” per se for daily work.
Today I met one of my funders, TOMODACHI initiative of a nonprofit organization, U.S.-Japan Council. Tomodachi means “friends” in Japanese. To be honest, I did not know much about the initiative and just assumed what it meant to be from the name. Certainly it has a history and people’s will involved in its development as an organization. The meeting purported to introduce ourselves (me and Mari) TOMODACHI-funded Fellows and to get connected within their large interesting network.
When I was to be exposed to the funder, I had a slightly nervous feeling on how I should present myself and what they want to know about me. At this point, even though the intensity may be well different, I totally related with GlobalGiving’s partners whose projects are visited by GG’s field representatives. The GlobalGiving field program, which I am currently working on, facilitates GG’s field representatives’ site visits, workshops, and personal support to our nonprofit partners all over the world. In general, our partners appreciate the representatives’ visits when we notify them that someone is coming to visit. I genuinely believe most of GG’s partners are excited to have us on their project sites.
Even so, I imagine, “meeting the funder” is something else than what people do in daily life. Possessing a name “funder” itself represents its stake, and affects what/how people do things. That is obvious, but I experienced that today first-hand. So I wanted to note here.
In closing, in grad school, I learned so many theories and discussions on monitor and evaluation. Now that I situate myself in the nonprofit’s investment and find it as truly indispensable function that could have positive/negative effects involving anthropological motivations, I decided to learn them again!