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Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties

Research on Community Needs and Grantmaking Program Design

 

The Opportunity:

As a component of its strategic plan, the Community Foundation board sought to identify the priority issue(s) that the Community Foundation is uniquely qualified to address in addition to its ongoing broader focus.  GSG was engaged to conduct community research and support the foundation leadership in defining these priority issues.  Subsequent to defining the issues, GSG was contracted to develop the initial grant-making guidelines and applications to support funding decisions.

Our Services:

In support of the selection of priority issues, GSG provided the following:

  • Reviewed priority issues and selection processes among similar-sized community foundations

  • Interviewed key informants including current donors and board members

  • Conducted focus groups with other community funders, fundholders, and advisors

  • Facilitated the foundation staff leadership in determining the desired attributes and approach for “focus areas” for grantmaking

  • Collected and analyzed available data on a number of community issues, including state and national comparisons

  • Assisted the staff leadership in narrowing the potential focus areas to a final set of three

  • Supported presentations the Community Impact Committee, community leaders, and the Board of Directors regarding the selected focus areas.

To design a grantmaking approach, GSG provided the following:

  • Facilitated leadership discussions regarding phasing of focus areas, leading to a decision to begin funding within one area – Community Revitalization

  • Reviewed focus area grantmaking approaches among similar-sized foundations, as well as foundations providing grants to support Community Revitalization

  • Identified effective practices among effective community revitalization programs

  • Facilitated community foundation staff to define funding criteria

  • Developed a presentation outlining the opportunity and funding criteria

  • Developed the Letter of Interest questions

  • Developed a mini-grant and community impact grant application

  • Developed grant reviewing and scoring frameworks.

The  Results:

Information on the focus areas for undesignated funds, and the grantmaking processes, can be viewed at this link:

www.yourcommunityfoundation.org/apply-for-a-grant-main