Dealing with Turf Battles

When people say a new organization isn’t needed, it’s only sensible to take their caution seriously. Yet several contributors warned that a certain amount of friction with older organizations is inevitable. Some people will be negative, they argue, even if a new organization is sorely needed and the idea is sound.

One grantmaker explained that negative comments often reflect a fear of competition for limited resources:
“While I’m a great believer in consultation, I also know that not all the people consulted have an objective view. A lot of people don’t want to see another organization. So you have to learn to discount some people’s fear of competition and their fear that resources will have to be shared.”

When a foundation created a new after-school organization, it quickly drew flak from existing programs in the same city. In that case, the grantmaker gave the new organization a small additional grant for fundraising — specifically to help other programs raise money. “Right away,” the grantmaker recalls, “this new effort became a resource to them. Their suspicions didn’t all disappear. But at least now there was some goodwill mixed in.”

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Working with Start-Ups.