What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Erika Grace "E.G." Nelson discusses how the Center for Prevention in Minnesota used an equity scan to force them to look at how their funding mechanisms needed to improve in order to reach their community effectively.
• Should more foundations go through equity scans to help better their funding processes? How is this beneficial to the community organizations?
• There are many strategies to ameliorating funding methods. Another perspective encourages foundations to spend time listening to others and give up control.
Have you ever taken the time to think about how your funding portfolio might look differently if your RFP process was designed to be more equitable and inclusive? We recently completed an equity scan, and here is a bit about how this reflection has led to changes in our RFP process.
At the Center for Prevention, our goal is to improve the health of all Minnesotans by tackling the leading causes of preventable disease and death – commercial tobacco use, physical inactivity, and unhealthy eating.
We also know that communities are aware of what they need to be healthy, but organizations established by and for marginalized communities tend to face greater barriers than well-resourced, mainstream organizations in getting what they need. We began our journey by thinking about funding opportunities. Before an organization can even apply for funding, it needs to know that an opportunity exists. Through community conversations, we learned that many organizations were unfamiliar with our resources and work.
As a result, here are some ways we shifted how we engage with community organizations through our RFP process:
- Time. We learned that some potential applicants prioritized other opportunities because they didn’t have the staff capacity to apply for multiple opportunities concurrently. The easiest solution to this problem was to give applicants more time, so we extended our open application period.
- Assistance. We also wanted to make sure that applicants could make informed decisions about how to prioritize staff time, so we opened up new channels for discussing funding opportunities.
- Accessibility. We are also working towards using more accessible language to articulate the merits of a viable proposal.
Read the full article about equitable funding practices by Erika Grace "E.G." Nelson at PEAK Grantmaking.