How our partners are making us be better funders

In November 2020, Small Foundation conducted our first ever partner survey. We were seeking open, honest feedback from a representative cross-section of our partners on what we are doing well, where we have room to improve, and perceptions regarding the value added by the various strands of support we offer.

Image: Small Foundation

Among other things, we heard that our flexible funding and support was highly valued, but there was more work we could do to speed up our decision-making and improve communications. We have a strength in providing thought partnership and constructive feedback, but there is scope for us to strengthen and deepen our partnerships. We have found the responses incredibly useful as we review and assess how we work.

We would like to take this opportunity to share more detailed data and findings from the survey.

Participation was requested from 84 individuals across 36 partner organisations including:

  • investment partners

  • network partners

  • research partners

  • service providers

  • organisations we are members of

We received 54 responses (a 64% completion rate). Survey responses were collected anonymously.


Small Foundation’s offer


When asked how our offerings were ranked, we found our partners most valued the financial support we provided, followed by technical assistance (coaching and strategic support by SF partners Converge and Creative Metier), Converge’s Network Leadership Series, and other support by Small Foundation, including governance and IMM support.



Image: SmallFoundation

When asked what additional types of support we should offer, the top answers were:

  • Introductions to other funders

  • Provide more networking opportunities

  • Support more research


What we do well


When asked what Small Foundation is doing well, the answers ranged broadly, with notable clusters around the following:

  • A flexible and innovative invest