Answers to FAQs:
- Why does Blueprint include this public report clause in its contracts? So that research on a social issue can be used by others who care about that issue.
- How do the foundations react? Once we explain what we're trying to do, most of the foundations that we work with are very positive. In fact, most of them have welcomed the opportunity as a chance to discuss Intellectual Property issues. Some foundations won't use our contract - this is fine because it is a chance to change their standard contracting language. Sometimes there isn't anything in the work that either we or the foundation thinks will be of interest to the public. The clause gives us a chance to discuss this upfront with the foundation.
- How can an advisory firm require something of a client? How can they not? Good working relationships are built on mutual trust and benefit. Our values are as important to us as are our clients' values - the contract negotiation stage of business development is one, of many, opportunities to express and stand by what we care about and are trying to make happen in the world. This is also why Blueprint is proud to be one of the nation's first B Corporations.
- Have you ever lost business doing it this way? Sure. We've also built long term relationships with key foundations, influenced their contracting procedures, opened up the door a little bit on IP issues in philanthropy, influenced our consulting firm colleagues, and leveraged dollars to certain issues by sharing the research.
OK - I am stepping down off the informercial soapbox now. Thanks, Sean, for the post.