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How We Work

 

How We Work

Our intent is to be responsive and adaptable in our grantmaking while maintaining a consistent commitment to nonprofits and the communities they serve. We value the expertise of our partners and trust that they, in collaboration with their constituents, know how best to meet the needs of families and communities. 

Our team endeavors to build deep and ongoing relationships in communities and we proactively scan the landscape to identify organizations aligned with our mission, program areas, and geography. However, we are always open to learn more about organizations and projects that are new to us, so we welcome inquiries from prospective partners and others who seek to learn about our grantmaking.

How We Fund

We strive to apply best practices in philanthropy to our grantmaking. To that end, we work toward the following:
Mission Alignment
We consider funding organizations based on their mission, leadership, clients served, and alignment with our overall mission and the priorities spelled out in each initiative and program area.
Flexible Funding
We provide flexible funding, typically in the form of general support grants, and may offer capacity building, capital, and other types of grants as well.
Longer-Term Funding
We consider multi-year support for some of our grantees, acknowledging the benefits of securing stable, longer-term funding.
Minimal Requirements
We are mindful of the time and effort we request from grantees throughout the funding process and attempt to minimize procedure and reporting requirements.
Grant Size
We determine our grant sizes based on an organization’s capacity, number of clients served, budget, and other factors.

Grant Process and Timeline

The foundation meets five times a year to make grant decisions, usually in February, April, June, August, and October. The average grant process takes between two to three months from start to finish. For most organizations under consideration for funding, a typical process is as follows:

  1. A program officer reaches out for an introductory conversation and/or to request a site visit
  1. The program officer extends an invitation to apply for funding or shares the decision not to proceed at this time
  1. Prospective partners complete an online application, usually with a deadline at least one month prior to a grant meeting date
  1. The program officer and grants team perform due diligence, summarizing information and recommending a grant amount, term and support type
  1. The staff and board meet to review grant recommendations and hear updates about current partners, keep each other informed about what is happening in our communities
  1. Shortly after the grants meeting, the program officer notifies partners of an award or declination
  1. Within one month after the grants meeting, partners receive formal notification in the form of an award letter and grant funds

After a Grant Is Made

We believe in minimizing our partners’ donor requirements, so grantees can do their best work. In this way, we do not require any reporting, presentations, continued site visits, or donor cultivation. Given the number of grantees we have, and their scattered locations, we conduct one follow up call with each grantee per year — typically within three months of their grant renewal date. We do not attend fundraisers, galas, or other events.

Learn More

Check out our current strategy and grants budget, and past years' data and reflections

 

How We Work