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Vice President's Message: June 2013

In keeping with the mission and values of the Weingart Foundation, I am pleased to share our FY2014 Grant Plan that will guide our grantmaking for the next 12 months. In April of this year, we shared our FY2014 Grant Plan Assumptions, which outlined key factors impacting the internal and external environment that we believe the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors will be operating in this upcoming year. These assumptions were based on numerous discussions with nonprofit leaders, as well as our review of grant applications received throughout FY2013, and a thorough scan of the nonprofit and philanthropic literature. At our annual Planning Meeting, our Board and Staff discussed and refined these assumptions, which led to the development of our grantmaking priorities for fiscal year 2014.

What we learned through this process is that demand will continue to strain the capacity of most nonprofit organizations and in particular, those serving low-income and underserved communities. As a result, we will maintain our current grant focus and guidelines aimed at strengthening the capacity and sustainability of our nonprofit partners. We will continue to prioritize unrestricted operating support since we believe that when combined with strong leadership and management, providing unrestricted, multi-year core operating support is one of the most effective ways to build nonprofit organizational capacity. In addition, the Foundation will look for opportunities to leverage our resources through collaboration with other funders and key stakeholders.

We are also interested in deepening the impact and understanding of our grantmaking in particular areas. Within our general grant focus, the Foundation is interested in receiving letters of inquiry that present high impact, effective strategies that address the needs of low-income and underserved individuals in the following areas: employment training and services for identified mid-skill level jobs; school drop-out prevention; college and career education access; and capacity building support for clinics disproportionately impacted by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. If your organization works in any of these areas and you are interested in submitting a request to the Foundation, please contact Angela Carr at acarr@weingartfnd.org. Also as a learning organization, it is very important that the Foundation understand the impact of our grantmaking. As a result, we recently retained the services of a consulting firm to assist us in the development of a framework for evaluating the overall impact of our grant program, focused on learning and improvement.

We deeply value the communication and relationships with our nonprofit partners. The Foundation believes that funders are most effective when they solicit and incorporate feedback from their grantees and applicants into their grantmaking. For this reason, we are committed to thoughtful and ongoing communications with the nonprofit sector. Click here to read the Foundation’s Communications Goals and Strategy.

Thank you for the commitment and passion you bring to your work every day, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

Belen Vargas
Vice President, Programs