Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
Research on Community Needs and Grantmaking Program Design
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.
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.
Information on the focus areas for undesignated funds, and the grantmaking processes, can be viewed at this link: