Celebrating our Miami nonprofits and our 2023 Community Grants recipients!

Photo: an Exchange for Change program participant takes the stage at the Miami Book Fair, embodying the transformative impact of the organization’s work in empowering formerly incarcerated individuals through advocacy and education.

Thank you so much to the Miami nonprofits that applied to the 2023 cycle of Community Grants and for giving us the opportunity to get to know you! We are so lucky to have so many powerful organizations of all shapes and sizes in our community that are well-led and are driven every day to create a better future for individuals in Miami. 

The 2023 Community Grants partners have been thoughtfully selected and represent what is most needed for our community today. We are proud to award grants to 95 organizations totaling $5,450,000 over two years for general operating support. When supported and provided with flexible funding, we believe local leadership can create powerful solutions, and we are proud to stand with these organizations as they work towards a stronger, more equitable Miami for everyone.  Meet the 2023 partners here. 

Earlier this spring, we received 697 Community Grant proposals from our Miami nonprofits. Together with 35 Community Advisors, we read, rated, and discussed each proposal against our identified set of funding priorities that were developed with heavy community input. The final recommendations were made by community members with direct experience with or close to the issues, and extra space was carved to allow for additional input. We are confident that every organization receiving an award was done so by, with, and for our community.  

We learned so much from this revamped and reimagined process this year and are grateful for the opportunity to have been able to connect with hundreds of local nonprofits throughout these past 5-months. No two organizations are the same; for several, literal magic shone through as we read what you had to share. Your insights into Miami were thought-provoking, eye-opening, heartbreaking, and precisely what we needed to understand better what you experience every day.   

Here is a sample of what we heard:  

  • Nonprofits are playing defense. The work, for so many, has become increasingly difficult to continue. A large portion of our population is experiencing gaps and loss in safety, security, and opportunities to thrive.  
  • Nonprofits feel siloed. Pockets of magic are happening across the entire county for similar reasons and goals. There is an opportunity to convene like organizations to build coalitions, amplify voices, share resources, and strengthen collaborations.  
  • Nonprofits feel forgotten. Long-standing, staple institutions in our community are grossly underfunded and feel forgotten by the donor community. Strategic networking, resources, and strong partnerships have the potential to transform initiatives into movements.  

Throughout the reading of the proposals, the insightful selection process, and difficult final discussions we could not ignore the current climate and how it amplifies the urgency of moving flexible dollars into our community. The Miami Foundation is already busy designing what to do next in response to what we’ve learned. This year, we boldly chose to go “all in” with trust-based philanthropy and pilot multi-year, mission-building support grants. We are proud to lead the way and grateful to show up for the nonprofit community. The response we received has been overwhelmingly positive and proves just how much our community needed this move. Miami needed this move. Now, we hope our philanthropic peers will move with us.  

It’s unfair to say this decision was hard when we know the work you do every day is harder. Instead, let’s call this process what it has been… disappointing. Sending a “not yet” letter to 6 out of 7 applicants is disappointing. To be clear, we are so proud of our list of 2023 Community Grants partners. We truly believe these partnerships represent and respond to the most pressing and urgent issues experienced in our community today. And yet we still wanted to fund more; both are true.  

The $5,450,000 amount we are able to move into our community over the next two years would not have been possible without the partnership from the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation and Miami-Dade County. They stood with us as we reimagined Community Grants and trusted us to find new ways to uplift our nonprofit ecosystem and invest in local leadership. This is just the beginning as we welcome more funders into this work.   

So here is our commitment to our nonprofits.   

  • More opportunities to learn – from each other, from industry professionals, or even from us. We want to support our nonprofits, all nonprofits, with resources to empower and strengthen your work.  
  • More opportunities to connect – with folks in your focus area, with programs that can complement your efforts, and of course, with us.  
  • More opportunities to share – amplifying your stories, sharing from our platforms, and giving a voice to those who have yet to be heard.   

We shifted our program from one year to two so we can have the time to connect. We hope to see you in the coming months and look forward to learning more from you. Thank YOU, Miami!

Onward Community Grants!

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