The 2016-2017 cycle ushers in some important changes to the grant-making process.
- The Two-Year Impact Grant pilot was completed in the 2015-2016 grant cycle and the Circle will continue offering two two-year $50,000 grants going forward.
- The process for awarding two-year grants has been streamlined for both applicants and the Grants Committee.
- All Circle members will now have the opportunity to vote for the grant awards, both one-year and two-year.
Based on survey results of the 114 Grant Committee members, giving two-year grants was overwhelmingly popular, and we know that potential grantees also appreciate the opportunity to apply for multi-year funding. The Steering Committee approved a motion to continue to award two two-year $50,000 grants annually.
In response to some challenges during the two-year pilot, we revamped the application process. The BWGC now has one grant application with an optional two-year section at the end. Applicants will indicate on the application whether or not they want to be considered for a second year of funding should they be deemed eligible.
The Grants Committee, using the same evaluation process for all potential grantees, will review applicants for a one-year grant. Those grantees recommended for funding will be formally presented by members of the Grant team at a special meeting on April 17th. All Circle Members will be invited to attend this April presentation meeting. Those members who attend the meeting in its entirety will be eligible to vote to select the one-year grant recipients. Please note there will be a strict RSVP policy for this meeting, as we need to know in advance exactly who will be attending to manage the voting process and to ensure adequate space.
Once we have collectively determined the one-year grant recipients, the top 6-8 vote-getters who also completed the optional two-year section of the application will be eligible for consideration for a two-year $50,000 grant. No additional applications or submission will be required, but the executive directors from these organizations will be invited to address the Circle membership at the May 17th Full Circle meeting. Those Circle members who attend will be eligible to vote for the two-year grant recipients.
Moving the top vote getters to the two-year applicant pool will reflect the priorities of the Circle as expressed in voting for one-year grants. Another advantage is that the applicants already have received a one-year award and thus know that our membership is enthused about their work; this makes the consequence of not being selected for a two-year grant less dire. In addition, this new process reduces the work for applicants and ensures that the Circle’s preferred programs have the best chance to receive the two-year grant awards.
Finally, we are pleased to be able to offer all Circle members the opportunity to participate in voting for the grant awards.