I have said before that I think being a grantmaker is a privilege, and it is work that I take great pride and joy in doing.
The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy poised the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to become a grantmaker for the first time in our short history. Our team, our board, and our grantmaking committee went to great lengths to think about what type of grantmaker we wanted to be as an organization – what did we want the prospective grantee to undertake, how much heavy lifting did we want to take on versus the grantee, and what was the type of information we wanted to collect in advance of our decision-making process.
The crux of the question was, “What should our proposal application look like?” Now we are taking cues from the grantmaking process as we think about how to allocate funds from the CDP Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Fund.
In the end, we determined the following:
- To as large extent possible, we wanted to keep the joy in grantmaking and grant seeking.
- The disaster-affected individual was our focal point, and supporting the needs of vulnerable communities was critical.
- The Center would do considerable up-front due diligence in an effort to minimize the “lift” of the potential grantee.
So, how did that play out on paper? Six simple questions designed to draw out the need, the idea, and the implementation of the proposed project. Here they are:
- Describe how Hurricane Sandy affected the community you serve.
- How does your request for funding fulfill the CDP Sandy Fund’s philosophy as outlined in the Fund overview?
- Describe the disaster-affected community your organization plans to serve through this program/project. Include information on the population, geographies, and number of people your organization intends to reach.
- Describe the project’s activities, goals, objectives, and expected outcomes as they relate to the needs described above.
- Attach a project budget detailing how CDP Sandy Fund monies would be allocated for this work.
- How will you evaluate the project’s progress and impact? If available, please attach an evaluation plan/design.
As the Center for Disaster Philanthropy moves forward in allocating monies from our Typhoon Haiyan Fund, we’ll most certainly maintain our dedication to joy, the end recipient, and process simplicity.
Funders, what are the questions or principles you consider critical to your grant making process?
Grantseekers? What are the questions you wish CDP would ask you?
Send me an email and let me know!