In 2019, we’ll be piloting a new timeline for our grants program: our Spring 2019 cycle operated as usual, with LOIs accepted from any eligible organization. Our Fall 2019 grant cycle will operate by invitation only (and most invitations will be extended to renewing grant partners from previous years).
Because we don’t have an actual office (our two employees work 100% remotely), we can’t host a typical “Open House” event to welcome you all to our space. So instead, we’re going to come to you. We’ll be hosting informal gatherings at coffee shops in each of our three main geographic areas of focus throughout the month of January. These are large chunks of time, intended to give past grantees, current grant partners, grantseekers, or any others interested in our work the opportunity to come by and meet with our Program Office, ask questions, and learn more about our work. No agendas. Nothing formal. Just a chance to meet in person and talk.
This article originally ran in the Chronicle of Philanthropy in response to an op-ed on what grantseekers should (and should not) do when meeting with donors for the first time.
As grant makers, we hold enormous power in relationships with nonprofits. Foundations big and small operate in a system in which nonprofits need funders (or, more precisely, our dollars) to achieve their missions. Our grantees, however, hold the answers to the questions and problems that drive us; they give our dollars meaning and effect, and their work allows us to achieve our missions. It is shortsighted, therefore, to view nonprofits simply as grant seekers. We should see them as critical partners in achieving our own missions as funders. And that partnership must be built on a foundation of mutual respect.
As The Helen J. Serini Foundation comes up to its five year anniversary, the Board of Directors is excited to take all that we've learned to date and use it to inspire and shape our direction for the next five years. Learn what that might look like, and how it will influence plans for our Fall 2017 Grant Cycle.