While doing my morning reading, I got to thinking about an upcoming client hospital foundation visioning team retreat….and a set of questions started to emerge that may be fruitful (or distracting!) for shaping similar discussions:
1. What questions are “game changers” for the Foundation, given that many systems intend that philanthropy as a revenue stream jumps from #8 to #3 on its list of important sources?
2. Do we intend philanthropy to fill gaps or offer solutions? What would we do differently in each case?
3. Should the Foundation’s role be one of funder (sales agent) for system needs or something more/different? If so, what?
4. What program or project we currently pursue works really well right now? What would happen if we could take that to scale (5x or 10x)?
5. If our major gifts solicitation efforts are deemed most productive of all our fundraising activities, what would we expect if we doubled or tripled our staff and resources so dedicated?
6. Must our path be one we take alone or do the solutions sought encourage us to collaborate with partners? If so, how would that change our approach?
I think these questions have application in other settings, as well. Clearly, these are but a few. What are some questions you’ve asked that get organizations to stretch their thinking?