28 Jan A NEW APPROACH TO COMMUNITY GRANTS – HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Being bold together with the Greater Miami community
The Miami Foundation is excited to share our revised Community Grants program with you. We have listened and learned with community members, nonprofit organizations, and local leaders to guide these updates that seek to serve you better. You encouraged us to be bold in our work and continue to build a Greater Miami we can all be proud of, so we are evolving our program to unlock potential and match the energy of our residents with meaningful progress and solutions. We hope you are as excited as we are about what is new this year:
- Prioritizing equity: As our SVP Charisse Grant wrote earlier this week, to build equity, we must behave and invest with greater equity. As a result, you will see updates throughout the program as we intentionally place residents, their lived experiences and their goals at the center of our work.
- Redefining “impact”: If you think our guidelines look different this year, you are exactly right! While the funding categories still pursue similar goals, the new program priorities reflect how we believe we can make meaningful progress together. For example, we hope to invest in organizations and programs that prioritize deep collaborations with residents to guide change. We also envision balancing progress and solutions – for example, the need for immediate food support as well as longer-term solutions for food deserts and affordability.
- Investing in you: We care deeply about the health of our nonprofit ecosystem, particularly as we all hope to rebuild and heal after the multiple crises of 2020. We want to invest in nonprofits and the unique value-add that each brings, so you will hear us asking a lot about what your organization needs to be sustainable and what you need to build capacity. We have also increased our grant size to best support your work.
- Introducing flexible support: We want to ensure that nonprofits can focus on their work – and we know the best way to do this is to get out of the way! We are excited to offer program support or mission building support so nonprofits can select how best to advance their goals. All organizations will have discretion over how awarded funds are used within the proposed work (meaning we will not request line-item budget reports).
- Respecting your time: We hope all eligible organizations will be excited to apply for funding, so we are working to eliminate possible barriers to entry like the time spent writing a lengthy proposal. This year, our preliminary Idea Stage will ask just two main questions to get to the heart of what you seek to achieve with your community and how. We are also sharing exactly how we will evaluate applications for more transparency.
- Calling all ideas! Our first application stage is now called the Idea Stage – because we know you have ideas and goals, and we want to learn all about them! Sign up for office hours with our team to dig deep into your ideas and get answers to your questions. The proposed work does not have to be new – we welcome applications to sustain or grow current initiatives. Our Review Criteria and Metrics also describe the kind of bold, yet viable, work that we look forward to creating together.
Community Grants is now accepting applications! Click here to learn more about the program. We are investing in equitable opportunities for all residents to learn and achieve, access to high-quality resources, and community-led progress throughout Greater Miami. Apply by February 26.
Valerie Crum is the program officer at The Miami Foundation.
Pictured: Farmworkers Association of America, a 2020 Community Grants grantee, empowers local farmworker families to invest traditional cultural knowledge and personal experience while gaining new skills in sustainable agriculture and herbal remedies to provide healthy lifestyle options for their community.