What we look for: Guiding principles En Español

These guiding principles support the best interests of our region, reflect our values, and inform our decision-making process for grantmaking.

Capacity of the Organization 

Does the organization have the institutional capacity, including qualified staff, board leadership, stable financial standing and a thoughtful and appropriate program plan, to successfully undertake the proposed project? Does the program plan align with the strategic direction of the organization?


Does this project provide an opportunity for nonprofits to work together, or with other sectors, to improve the planning, coordination, and delivery of services, and if so is that collaborative approach reflected in program plans? Does the organization have a track record of collaboration?

Community Engagement 

Have the individuals and/or groups expected to benefit from the project been consulted in its development? 

Demonstrated Need 

Is there demonstrated need and demand for the proposed project? Are other organizations already doing this work? Will the proposed project benefit a meaningful number of people, providing real added value in its outcomes? How do we know?

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion  

Does the organization work to improve access to services and programs for vulnerable and underserved populations? Are the board and staff ethnically and racially representative of the community they serve? 

Holistic Approaches 

Does the organization approach its work in a holistic way? Does the project address the structural causes of an issue? Does the project support improved coordination across multiple systems?

Organizational Finances and Program Budget 

Are financial management systems and safeguards in place? Is the budget for the proposed project detailed, realistic and cost-effective?

Outcome Driven 

Is the organization able to clearly articulate organizational and program goals? Has a clear plan for achieving results been presented? Is there a plan in place to track and report outcomes and impact on the people and communities served? 


The Foundation focuses its resources on those institutions and projects that are likely to produce benefits that endure beyond the period of Foundation funding. Does the project leverage other funds? Has a long-term funding plan been developed to support the proposed project beyond the term of the Foundation’s support? Is the Foundation the most appropriate source of funding?


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