Message from Vice President, Grant Operations
As the Weingart Foundation nears the half-way point in the current fiscal year, our grantmaking continues to reflect the goals set out in our Fiscal Year 2013 Grant Plan, underscored by an ongoing high demand for unrestricted core support funding. Most of our grantees report that our core support dollars are vital to helping sustain infrastructure and programming. However, a growing number of grantees are also using a portion of their unrestricted grant to advance strategic capacity building goals. This increased focus on long-term sustainability and organizational effectiveness by our grantees is a significant development in the evolution of our core support grantmaking.
The rising focus on sustainability and impact within the nonprofit sector is shared by more than just our grantees. We continue to be impressed by the extraordinary response and interest from nonprofits in exploring and pursuing strategic partnerships through the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI). The NSI was launched earlier this year with funding from the California Community Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and the Weingart Foundation in recognition that, in this continued environment of reduced resources, nonprofits may want to explore potential strategic partnership opportunities that could result in greater effectiveness and efficiencies for their organizations. The NSI is also a great example of the positive impact funders can have on the nonprofit sector by working together and collaborating. We are pleased to share that we anticipate the list of foundations partnering with us on the NSI is likely to grow.
This is the time of year when the Weingart Foundation begins to develop its strategic grantmaking priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Over the next several months, the Foundation will continue “listening” to applicants, grantees and other key stakeholders in our region as we form our assumptions about the nonprofit and philanthropic environment we will be operating in over the next 18 months. The Foundation will also convene grantees to learn more about how they are using their core support grant dollars. At the same time, the Foundation will be working to formalize our evaluation framework. All this information will be used to inform our Grant Plan for the 2013 - 2014 fiscal year.
We are inspired and humbled by the hard work of our nonprofit partners in both fulfilling their missions and meeting the increased needs of the most vulnerable and underserved in our region. The Weingart Foundation will continue striving to provide the type of grant funds, support and grantmaking practices that meet the needs and priorities of the nonprofit community.