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Grants Process

Elements we Value in Grant Proposals and Implement in Granting Processes 


Fresh Ideas

Innovative thinking drives our grant processes. We believe that ingenuity is the product of thinking differently. This means we value leaders who approach challenges and opportunities from different angles. Innovative proposals are important whether your proposal is about a new or existing program or project. We invite nonprofits to think differently in order to design and execute with excellence.

Collaborative Effort

We believe the best projects and programs are collaborative. Nonprofit agencies are encouraged to partner together to create robust project/program proposals that bridge gaps and increase collective impact. Beyond project collaboration with each other, we encourage nonprofit leaders to include a diverse group of stakeholders in the design of Foundation funded projects, including business, government, and education leaders as well as those who will receive the service.

Strategic Design

Designing strategic projects and change initiatives is a passion of ours. We invite nonprofit leaders to social innovation labs (iLabs) where they can learn and practice strategic design concepts with other interested community stakeholders. iLabs also strengthen potential partnerships because people who design work together are more likely to do that work together.

Presenting Ideas in Compassionate Shark Tanks

We believe that ideas get better when they are presented to a diverse group of interested funders, leaders and citizens. We  create Compassionate Shark Tanks where nonprofit leaders share ideas in short, high-energy presentations and receive feedback from the assembled panel. The goal of the Compassionate Shark Tank is to offer positive critique that will ultimately make ideas better and to generate interest amongst panel members in potential projects.

Request for More Information

During the RFP process, there is often a request for more information (RFMI). We request more information to both better understand the proposed project and ensure good design thinking and potential partnerships are integrated early and often.

Strong Consensus and Diverse Decision Making 

In order to make the wisest possible decisions, the Foundation seeks input and feedback about proposals from a diverse group of thought leaders, experts and citizens. No one individual or small group of people make decisions about funding grants. We believe that our process of including stakeholders at various points along the proposal process creates a growing sense of consensus about the projects or programs that should be funded. Decisions therefore emerge as a result of a solid process that includes many people and is not result of personal agendas, favoritism or unsubstantiated opinions. Finally, the Foundation Board ensures the process is robust and provides insight and oversight.