Working at a funding agency comes with its own challenges. You must demonstrate the impact of your funding not only to the world, but also your forever-unimpressed boss. If your life was a Bollywood film, here’s what it might look like.

1 a) What it feels like to review 200 proposals for funding


1 b) What nonprofits think it feels like

(A tip of the hat to the bigger, bolder films of the South)

2 a) What you say to the nonprofit after the 7th delay in submitting its annual report


2 b) What you really want to say


3) The annual ‘strategy exercise’ where the head of the agency wants to know how much impact your grants have created


4) The only story you will ever need to tell at fundraising conferences.



 5) The most common reply from nonprofits to your question, “Do you have any other funders?”


6)  The most common reply from government officials to your question, “Can we work together?”


7) When you hire consultants to help create impact


8) What it feels like when all the funders in your sector chase that one high-profile nonprofit



 9) When the aforementioned nonprofit tells you it is going to do the Next. Big. Innovative. Thing.


10) What nonprofits say when you ask about measuring impact

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Arjav Chakravarti

Arjav Chakravarti

Arjav Chakravarti is the founder of Lumen Consulting, a development sector consulting firm which works with social organizations, funders and intermediaries to advance social change. Prior to this, Arjav headed the strategy and impact group at Dasra and also served as the president of the Boston chapter of Association for India’s Development (AID). Previously, Arjav was part of the product marketing and software development teams for parallel computing at MathWorks.


  1. Super compilation!! and what happens to the community in all of this…

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