FAQ

Thai-Burma Border
What exactly IS a local leader?
A local leader heads-up an organization that serves the people of their community. A local leader is a well-respected and trusted community who understands the formal and informal ways to get things done.

Local leaders know the unique issues of their community inside and out, and are actively working to build up the next generation of leadership within it.

They have innovative ideas of how issues can be solved. And they recognize the extra effort needed to bring girls to the table.

They are an integral part of their community. They know it intimately. They call it “home” even though some of them may not have been born there originally.

How do I know I can trust these people who are local leaders?
Even if you give to a large brand-name organization, an act of philanthropy is an act of trust. But in the case of flexible, direct grants to local leaders, our style of granting invites honesty and transparency right from the beginning.

We start the granting process having frank conversations about needs, issues and challenges. Our focus is on learning—which immediately changes the power dynamics of the conversations.

We also vet our organizations carefully.

Because Move92 grants are flexible, local leaders also know they can talk honestly to Move92 if they run into problems. They don’t need to ask permission to make a change. There’s need to hide anything.

Why does giving in this way shift traditional power dynamics?
Our way of granting directly to local leaders is a game-changer. It completely busts up old ideas of “helping.” And it upholds a vision of strength and resilience.

Starting a relationship as a dialogue is the first shift. Local leaders are respected for their expertise, and they start the relationship with Move92 talking honestly about their needs, challenges, and risks. Local leaders are treated as the experts they are.

A second shift happens when things may not turn out as planned. This is a major difference in how aid is traditionally managed, because with flexible funding, local leaders have the authority to make decisions without having to go back and waste precious time negotiating for this power.

A third shift happens when it comes time to report results. This process is done personally—in regular check-in conversations.

We can’t underscore how different this process is.

The way international aid has been traditionally done, recipients are expected to jump through hoops to “prove” that they used the money wisely, and funders are the people who specify which hoops are required.

Doing reporting through regular conversations opens up a very different world. Not only are conversations efficient, but they are personal and creative. They reveal the true nature of what happens on the ground. And they relieve local leaders from countless hours preparing documents and fitting numbers into formal spreadsheets.

These conversations also offer an opportunity to solve real problems happening in real-time, because they invite honest discussion, ongoing learning, and creative brainstorming.

Why should I try giving directly?
Three reasons:

1) To learn about the dynamics of the issues you care about,

2) To have your giving make a tangible difference that you can see and understand,

3) To witness smart solutions that come from the community itself (not some outsiders), and to see how ideas generated from the inside can be powerful and long-lasting.

What exactly are philanthropic dreams?
Your philanthropic dreams are your unique reasons for wanting to share your resources. They shed light on the kinds of things you hope your money will create, and the kinds of people you want to help. Your dreams signal what is most important to you.

Move92 will help you explore your dreams, and then together, we will work to make them come true. What’s key is that your wishes are an essential part of the puzzle. We will help you find local leaders who are doing the work you want to support.

And we will also follow your lead as to how involved (or not involved) you want to be with your granting. We have grantmakers who travel internationally and want regular, personal check-ins with their grantee, and others who simply want a 10-minute update conversation over coffee.

Can I simply try this out without making a big commitment?
All our granting starts slowly to make sure there is a good fit. Once you make an initial grant (we call it a learning grant), you can review what happened with the grant and assess how you feel about it. Then you can decide if you want to follow-up with a longer or larger grant.
Are there limits (low or high) to how much I can grant?
Our grants are typically small grants—from $10,000 to $50,000—although we can work with larger amounts. Sometimes the real value is not in the amount granted, however, but in the planning and stability that happens when a grant is given reliably over time.

We like to encourage long-term granting that lasts, because it offers more stability to local leaders. If you want to grant more than these ranges, we can certainly help you. If you have somewhat less, let’s also talk. Sometimes we can find someone to match your grant.

Have you ever had a grant not be successful?
We have had only one case where after the learning grant, we recommended that a grantmaker not make a follow-up grant to a particular organization. The organization was doing good for its community, but the local leader wasn’t a good fit for Move92 and how we like to work.

We don’t consider this situation an “unsuccessful” one, however, because this is what a first learning grant is for. We got to know the local leader better, and the grantmaker got to hone in on what was truly important to her in her personal giving.

This grantmaker chose to make follow-up grants to the other local leaders she funded, and feels good about the whole experience.

For us, success for us is not tied to a particular project. Success at Move92 is making more direct connections between grantmakers and grantees, and spreading the word about direct, flexible grantmaking.

What do I need to know to be a grantmaker?
As a grantmaker, you don’t need a lot of money. And you don’t need to know exactly what you’d like to do–we will help you with that and walk you through the process.

But you will enjoy this journey if you are someone who likes to learn.

If you are someone who sees the benefit in creating new possibilities step-by-step, you will find this process intriguing. And if you value listening to discover what’s really going on–you will find it rewarding as well.

It also helps if you naturally understand that most complex problems are not solved by simple “outside” solutions, but by a gradual shifting of relationships, resources, and responsibilities. And it helps if you understand that all people live in unique communities — communities that are guided by subtle rules and histories that are known by everyone inside the community… but almost never written down.

All of this we can help you with. And we believe you’ll be astounded at the inventive solutions you get to witness. And you’ll feel proud of your contribution to this world — just as it is — right now.