Directing philanthropy to achieve specific, well-considered goals doesn’t happen overnight—or by accident.
Following our 2011 commitment to compassionate care of creation, the Franciscan Sisters of Mary were excited about directing our philanthropy to further those goals. But having no history of grant making, we needed expert advisors to develop and implement a program that would give hands and feet to that vision.
After conducting a thorough search, in 2014 the Franciscan Sisters of Mary hired Arabella Advisors to help us build a vision and strategy for our giving that would reflect our Focus on compassionate care of creation in collaboration with others. Arabella’s strong background in climate and conservation has provided great guidance for our efforts.
These experts helped FSM leadership zero in on specific areas of interest for our philanthropy. Arabella identified three areas that best align with FSM’s passions:
- Clean Energy—lessening the effects of climate change by supporting clean energy initiatives and reducing dependence on fossil fuels
- Forest Conservation—preserving pristine forests, especially in South America, Congo, and Indonesia, and sustainably managing timber harvesting
- Sustainable Agriculture—building support for agriculture based on sound ecology (agroecology) and advancing healthy local food options
But charting a course for FSM giving was just the first step.
The importance of having a team of financial experts on board became even more evident as FSM began awarding grants.
- Arabella guides us in identifying strong partner organizations that will further our goals.
- Arabella then helps us decide how to award grants by assessing proposals and reviewing the financial and managerial soundness of potential grantees.
- Arabella manages the grants, evaluating how effective the grants are and making recommendations for future involvement.
Engaging Arabella Advisors to manage our philanthropy was a wise decision, freeing FSM leadership and staff to lead in ways they are called to lead. We strongly encourage any organization looking to live out its vision and mission through its philanthropy to research the possibilities, then choose a professional advisor to identify goals and administer the grant program.
For FSM, hiring Arabella Advisors was a great decision.