One of the hallmarks of the Boldly Go way is our approach to investing in our clients’ unique ability to be extraordinary philanthropic leaders. From day one, we focus on really getting to know our clients – their passions, their working styles, and the dynamics at play in their particular circumstances. We believe devoting attention to the relationships from the start is fundamental to building trust with our clients and ultimately helping them be the philanthropists they want to be and have the impact they aspire to achieve.
Our decades of experience as philanthropic advisors, on-the ground doers, and grantmakers have shown us that – regardless of what problem you’re trying to solve or what approach you’re taking – success is hugely dependent on individual motivation and on the strength of the relationships that form between those working towards the solution.
So what is the Boldly Go way to build trusting relationships that yield strong results?
Deeply understand motivations.
We take great care to understand the impacts that matter most to our clients. Understanding the human component enables us to grasp the “why” behind their giving and what they are trying to accomplish. What people, places, and issues do they deeply care about and want to impact? What values do they want to express through their philanthropy? What approach do they want to take to create change? What has worked well in their philanthropy to date? How do they want to personally engage, involve their family, and work with others? We use the answers to these questions to help our clients form a “philanthropic “compass” to guide decisions around how they will allocate philanthropic resources, and perhaps even more importantly, how they will spend their time.
Flex to meet individual styles.
Large consultancy firms follow a formula – their whole business model is built around it. We are intentionally small so we can form deep relationships with individual donors, families, foundation leaders, and trustees. Our size makes us nimble and allows us to create a customized experience for each client. No copy-pasting here. Because each philanthropist is unique, we adapt to the specific styles of our clients. Some want to be public with their philanthropy, others prefer to remain anonymous. Some want to be highly involved – hand picking grantees, reviewing reports, conducting site visits, collaborating with other philanthropists – others prefer a less intense, less hands-on approach. Some want to learn through doing or experimentation, others prefer to learn by hearing from experts or reading a curated list of resources. We embrace and provide highly personalized support for all these styles as we know that there is no single path to developing as an extraordinary philanthropist.
Be highly attuned to and adjust for changing dynamics.
No two clients are alike and neither are their circumstances. We take our role as a trusted confidant and advisor seriously. That’s why we encourage our clients to bring us up-to-speed on any sensitive dynamics that could become speed bumps along the way. Whether our client is new to philanthropy or is part of a multi-generational legacy of giving, we know that it’s important to be attuned to those around them who influence their giving. We’ll get to know sensitivities within a foundation staff, a board, or a family and provide counsel on how to address those sensitivities and move forward appropriately.
Advance bold solutions and add value.
We are active strategic partners, recognizing that success in philanthropy means identifying proven as well as new and innovative approaches to impact; and continuously learning and adapting to meet a constantly shifting landscape. So we take the time to understand the community and sector dynamics of a client’s giving priorities. For every client, we hand-select an exceptional team with the specific experience and skills they need. Our diverse team members and strategic partners collectively provide expertise in areas such as climate change, economic development, racial equity, education, health, impact investing, evaluation, and communications. Working as a team, we help our clients set ambitious goals, develop and execute long-term strategies, and act on immediate opportunities to share insights and connect clients to people, ideas, and resources that will push their thinking and improve their results.
Act with rigor and integrity.
Because we have managed major philanthropic entities, we come with the executive know-how and confidence to take action, faithfully represent our client’s interests, and ensure that what we do yields results. We also deeply appreciate and exemplify the importance of reliability, trustworthiness, and integrity. Not only will we get it done, but we will get it done to the highest ethical standards, with a keen attention to detail, with a high degree of quality, and in a timely manner.
Make philanthropy joyful.
We want our clients to have less fuss and experience more joy in their philanthropy. We do that by avoiding overwrought strategies, right-sizing infrastructure, streamlining grant and administrative policies, and managing the administrative and tactical items that can weigh down the philanthropic process. This frees our clients up to learn, to pursue their mission and values with fidelity, to engage with their family, and to focus on the joys of impactful giving. Lastly, we love nothing more than sharing inspirational stories, connecting as human beings, and being able to laugh with our clients. After all, making a difference for people and the planet should inspire hope and happiness.
That’s delivering exceptional service and forming trusted relationships the Boldly Go way!