As a CF, how do you determine who is eligible to receive your annual unrestricted grant dollars?
Our unrestricted Community Endowment has received its first large estate gift. To this point the grant distribution from the Community Endowment has been very small. We would like to learn more about the process to determine grant recipient(s).
- Does the community foundation have specific areas of interest when granting funds from your unrestricted endowment?
- If so, how was this area of interest determined? And, how often do you review and update this area of interest? Does it align with goals in your strategic plan?
- If not, are all nonprofit organizations serving your community eligible for the funding and what type of criteria is used?
- From your experience, please share any suggestions on how these types of grants can make more of a difference in your community or tips on the processes?
- Are there any lessons learned that you could share with us, good or bad?
- When the unrestricted endowment gets to be large enough be provide more impactful grants ($100,000 or more), do you provide larger grants to fewer recipients and/or consider multi-year grants?
- Do you hold part of the annual endowment distribution in reserve for a disaster or crisis that might occur to a local nonprofit? If so, is a certain dollar amount or percentage of the distribution held?
- Is there anything that you would change or recommend avoiding in a competitive grant process?