As we work to implement our strategic plan, we will intensify our efforts to build, join and support strong collaborations that address our region’s challenges. Together with our communities, we will inspire, implement and assess innovative and transforming approaches to advance enduring social change.
The following key strategies will best leverage the Foundation’s assets, and will allow us to be nimble and responsive to new knowledge and opportunities. They have been, and will increasingly be, thoughtfully practiced across our priority areas.
Explore the links below for some examples of work in progress.
Build, Sustain and Share Knowledge
Knowledge, supported by data analysis, helps us understand what is happening in our communities, provides a basis to build on what’s working, and gives us new ways to think about and tackle issues. We will continue to engage and listen to all voices in the community to learn about emerging and ongoing needs and opportunities.
- Commission, support and share research that fills gaps and produces data to drive regional solutions.
- Promote evaluation practices that enable us to gauge progress in priority areas.
- Develop and cultivate learning opportunities with and among donors, grantees and other partners.
Engage in Public Policy
It is clear that we must build upon our traditional efforts in grantmaking and capacity building if we want to craft new and enduring solutions. We must also use our experience, knowledge and influence to promote sustainable systemic change. This work is well underway and we are eager to increase the use of a range of public policy activities that support and further our mission and strategic goals, including administrative and legislative lobbying.
- Make a significant contribution to administrative and legislative public policy at the local and state levels that advance our priority areas.
- Convene and join with others to stimulate desired policy and systems change.
- Build relationships with state and municipal leaders throughout our region to understand regional challenges and support collaborative regional solutions.
- Evaluate the impact of our public policy efforts.
Inspire Philanthropy and Steward Resources
Our donors are the bedrock of all that we are able to do. In return, we ensure the intent of each donor’s gift is honored, and we invest their funds wisely. Making meaningful change in our priority areas compels us to think in new and creative ways about how we and our partners approach our work. We must do the same as we endeavor to generate the resources needed to support and sustain our efforts.
- Respond to donors’ interests with innovative opportunities to benefit the region.
- Connect new and existing donors with our priority areas so they may learn firsthand about the extraordinary work being accomplished by our community partners.
- Harness the increasing diversity of our donor base to reach out to a broad range of prospective donors to learn about the issues that motivate their giving and to introduce them to a wider range of effective giving options.
- Grow, preserve and protect our endowment for the long term through prudent investment strategies and increasing the number of funds and donors including legacy funds, private foundations and nonprofit endowment funds.
Invest in the Region
We will continue to employ multiple strategies, including grantmaking, to meet the broad needs of our region while funding innovative approaches to our priority areas. We also will continue our commitment to strengthen the capacity of the region’s nonprofits.
- Leverage the Foundation’s assets and introduce new funding to the region by pursuing opportunities with local and national funders, government and business.
- Promote creative nonprofit capacity, including endowment building, that is tailored to the diverse needs of the region’s nonprofits and that promotes innovation among these groups.
- Motivate and fund new approaches, collaboration and partnerships among nonprofit and other stakeholders working in our priority areas.
- Incentivize and support grantees to collect and share outcomes data as learning and thought partners in our efforts to develop lasting solutions in our priority areas.