The new year has profoundly renewed the Foundation’s conviction and energy to build on the momentum and lessons of 2020, a year of relentless challenges and social reckoning.

To start 2021, we have reimagined and revised Community Grants. The annual funding program makes a serious investment in issues that matter most for Greater Miami by supporting local nonprofits’ work and ideas. Each year allows us to invest in solutions that are both impactful and timely.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to take a painful toll on our residents and the community organizations we rely on to support and enrich our lives. Yet, we have also witnessed the amazing creative capacity of the nonprofit sector to adapt and innovate for a new reality. Let’s fuel them.

The brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others underscored the persistence of systemic racism and the urgency to acknowledge and address it. We also saw new traction for groups who have spent decades on the front lines and emerging ones. Let’s power them.

The reckoning also calls for philanthropy to look inward at its own funding practices. We’ve committed to doing the hard, internal work for the Foundation to embed a lens of equity into how we operate, invest and engage with the community. This anchored the changes we have made to Community Grants.

Our guidelines are a key part of what we revised to adapt our funding categories to current times, align our priorities with our values, and create more simplicity, flexibility, and transparency for nonprofits.

We are also striving to increase accessibility and reach. The Foundation team developed extra resources that explain our process and changes we have introduced. They will also be more available than ever for conversations with nonprofits during the application process.

As the Foundation charts new ground in how we work, we know our intentions will not always play out with perfection. So, we will stay open to feedback that helps us do better. We so appreciate all those who shared insights or who continue to model bold, resilient leadership by what they do every day.

We eagerly look forward to building even greater community strength and impact together in 2021 and beyond.


Charisse Grant is the senior vice president and strategy advisor at The Miami Foundation.

Pictured: Urgent Inc., a 2020 Community Grants grantee, empowers young minds to transform their communities through community and personal development programming.

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