Why 1892?

This is my first blog entry for our newly launched company, 1892 consulting.  I am excited to be able to write about our company and share with you our plan to contribute to the philanthropic community.

I feel very lucky to have worked for some of the world's largest and most interesting foundations; and, in my own small way, I have helped them make a difference and improve their grantmaking.  While grants management is often seen as the unglamorous side of foundations, I have always been fascinated by internal operations.  If I can help expedite grant payments even by one day, then the money can get to grantees faster and allow them to start the real work on the ground.  Seeing the whole picture of the foundation and nonprofit ecosystem has helped me keep perspective and recognize the impact that small process and visibility changes at a foundation can have for grantees and their communities.

It hit me somewhere during the past few months: the thing I want to do next is to help as many foundations be as efficient and effective as possible.  I realized that the best way for me to do that is by creating a grants management consulting firm.  In a way, I have already been informally consulting for years within the corporate and private foundations where I worked.  During those times, I continuously sought to identify pain points in processes and then looked to eliminate those and create efficiencies, often by applying technology.

The role of the grants manager is becoming more strategic at foundations, and with the increasing importance of data in decision-making, we see an exciting opportunity to contribute to the field of philanthropy.  We have knowledge and expertise in grants management and can share effective lessons and practices in to help foundations become better grantmakers.

The name 1892 consulting came about because we recently bought a house that was built in 1892.  According to Google, 1892 turns out to have been an eventful year: it was a year for patents, including the diesel engine and two-way telegraph.  It was the year Ellis Island opened.  The year that GE, Carnegie Steel and the Sierra Club were all established.  It was the year that Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker premiered in Russia.  To my husband’s delight, a lifelong Liverpool fan, 1892 was also the year the Liverpool Football Club was founded.

And so we had our company name, 1892 consulting.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you and getting your ideas about how you think we can help foundations and grants managers become even more strategic and efficient in their grantmaking.

How do you like our company name?  How do you think we can best serve foundations?