by Rosien Herweijer
Earlier this year, the Foundation Center (with headquarters in New York) and the European Foundation Centre (based in Brussels) assumed leadership of GrantCraft. Jan Jaffe — who launched and nurtured GrantCraft into the powerful tool it currently is — left us quite some shoes to fill. And in fact, our new joint venture will have two directors at the helm: one based in New York and myself, based in Brussels. I am Rosien Herweijer, and I joined EFC early June to be part of this leadership team.
I am really honored to take on this role. At its core, GrantCraft champions the process of making grants and the effective management of funds and programs. It captures the complexities and inherent tensions of these processes and provides insights about how to manage them without overly simplifying reality. GrantCraft does not use jargon, blueprints, or complex models. In all its guides, you hear the voices of practitioners who honestly uncover and reflect on the dilemmas that they face.
That is what I particularly like about GrantCraft: it harnesses practical wisdom. To promote practices that actually deliver results, we need to stay close to the realities of the organizations and people we support. Similarly, the element of wisdom in GrantCraft is critical: we may know how to solve simple or even complicated problems, but often wisdom is needed to actually make the right choices. It is going to be an adventure to further develop and globalize GrantCraft, bring it to Europe, and strengthen its presence and effectiveness around the world. I hope we will be in this together.
But who am I? To date I have worked mainly in international cooperation with not-for-profits, multi-laterals, as well as my government. I learned at the Annual General Assembly of EFC that some of my work would have been called “funding+” in the world of philanthropy. Most recently, I worked as a freelance consultant to (small) not-for-profit organizations in Latin America, Europe, and Africa involved in women’s rights, HIV/AIDS prevention, and human trafficking. I also consulted on learning and organizational development in the Netherlands.
During the last week of May at the EFC conference, I spoke with several delegates about how they value the content and format of GrantCraft’s resources. Many knew the materials, others were eager to learn more. I loved hearing the positive, constructive feedback but I want to hear from more members of this community! Please continue to share your experiences with GrantCraft: What do you like about it? Or appreciate less? What do you use it for and how? What topics would you want us to take on? Your concerns, needs, and most of all your experience will feed back into GrantCraft. After all, GrantCraft is about sharing practical experience, sharing among peers. I look forward to hearing from you!