01 Mar We’re Listening, Miami
As residents across Miami set New Year’s resolutions, our Foundation set a few of our own. One of them, (perhaps my favorite) was to listen more boldly. As a home base for giving and social impact for Greater Miami, we’re doing things right if we spend more time listening, and less time talking.
We formalized it as one of our four core promises for 2022:
“Mobilize Greater Miami to give boldly, equitably and strategically through community-centered leadership“.
We’re wasting no time turning this from a promise into a habit. Here are four bold ways we’re listening in 2022.
Community Advisory Council: We started by launching our inaugural Community Advisory Council. Meet the members here. The Council is a leadership circle of diverse nonprofit and community visionaries serving as subject-matter experts for key issue areas and informing and advising the Foundation about how we can most effectively strengthen community.
Office Hours: We are offering regular office hours to local organizations. Since the beginning of the year alone, over 200 organizations have scheduled time or already connected with us! We yield the floor to the nonprofits and allow them to share their origin story and how they are addressing the community’s most pressing needs. If you want to schedule time with our team, click here!
Open-Call for Reviewers: For the first time ever, we are opening our Community Grants application review process to the community. Historically, when we were sourcing grant program reviewers, we engaged folks from our existing networks and known experts from the community. Recognizing that we don’t know who we don’t know, we are inviting individuals in the community to raise their hands to be considered for participation as a grant program reviewer.
Surveys: From time to time, we take a pulse check of our network through surveys. We collect a lot of data at the Foundation and right now we are exploring the capacity building needs of nonprofits. We have a survey out to 975 nonprofit partners that participated in our last Give Miami Day asking them about their organization’s capacity needs and specifically as it relates to fund development. We hope to use the information gathered to offer more technical assistance to organizations where they need it most.
Any time we ask the community to educate us, share their knowledge, read applications, participate in an advisory group we are paying them for their time in the form of a modest honorarium that they can accept as an individual or direct to a 501(c)(3) of their choice. Our hope is that this honorarium shows that we truly value their time and talents.
As we build a stronger Foundation in 2022, we’re finding more ways to collaborate and connect across issue areas and lines of difference. We want to focus on elevating voices, spreading power equitably and increasing opportunity for all, and the first way we know how to make progress on all of this is by listening to community. Let us listen to you – please reach out and connect with us.
Pictured above: WeCount!, a 2021 Community Grants partner, is built on a worker-led model together with immigrant workers and families in South Miami-Dade. Here, workers trained to be Wage Theft Advocates speak on a panel about ending wage-theft violations in their communities.