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The Community Foundation Blog

A closer look at grantmaking
By The Community Foundation / July 8, 2019
A closer look at grantmaking

To give our donors an opportunity to learn more about the pressing needs of our community and get involved in our grantmaking, the Community Foundation piloted a new program this spring.

Donors with an interest in the arts were invited to join our staff for an afternoon to review the applications submitted for consideration in our Arts & Culture focus area. Participants heard a summary of each organization and their proposed project, then provided feedback on how the Community Foundation might prioritize the proposals.

“I appreciated that the proposals we reviewed were in line with the sorts of things we’ve always wanted to support with our funds,” said Paige Harvey, board member for the Bryan and Kathryn Harvey Family Memorial Endowment.

With the perennial challenge of receiving more proposals than the Community Foundation is able to fund with unrestricted and field of interest funds, decisions are difficult. To provide insight, staff disclosed the amount requested for each proposal and the total funding that the Community Foundation had available for these grants. Participants were asked to share how they would allocate the funds among the different proposals, which staff to further inform final decisions.

“To be able to share my perspective, hear the perspectives of other people with a passion for the arts, and then help make decisions about Richmond – that was a great opportunity,” Harvey said.

Multiple donors responded to this learning opportunity by identifying initiatives they would like to fund themselves – providing additional funds to support arts organizations in Greater Richmond. View our 2019 Arts & Culture grants decisions here.

“I believe we found the right balance by including donor input in the selection process,” said Greg Gallop, our program officer focused on Community Vibrancy. “The collective wisdom and analysis of our staff, board and volunteers will undoubtedly support the continued success of Richmond’s vibrant arts community. I hope to see the same in our other focus areas in the future.”

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