Start Vetting (Alternative Due Diligence Activity)

Due diligence is an essential aspect of philanthropic practice—it allows you to decide whether an organization is effective at achieving your shared goals and whether you and the organization are a good fit for each other.

Think of an organization you have previously funded, or would like to fund. Reflect on the different categories of the due diligence process. You should be able to find most of the information necessary for due diligence through the organization’s website and other publicly available resources. Because an organization’s staff members are busy delivering services, it’s best to refrain from contacting them unless you are seriously interested in becoming a major donor.

Legal Compliance: Is the organization in compliance with tax and other regulations?
Goals: What does the organization aim to accomplish?
Strategies: What are the organization’s strategies, i.e., its “theory of change,” for reaching its goals?
Capabilities: What are its capabilities for implementing these strategies in terms of leadership and human resources, financial capability, and transparency?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: How well does the organization meet your DEI criteria?
Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation: How does the organization know if it is making progress?

For a deeper look into our due diligence process you can view our Due Diligence Checklist in chapter 8 of The Guide to Effective Philanthropy.