Competitive Grantmaking Evolution

For the first time in nearly 30 years, we took a pause to evolve our competitive grantmaking processes. Under the guidance of our newly adopted strategic plan, we’re committed to utilizing a trust-based philanthropy approach…. and we’re back with two new grant types, updated processes, opportunities to engage, and a new Grants Specialist!

What’d we do?Trust-based Philanthropy at La Crosse Area Community Foundation graphic

We listened. A lot. We held focus groups and surveyed those who engage with nonprofits to better understand what they need to do their work well. If you are part of the nonprofit community – a paid staff person, regular volunteer, board member – and you haven’t participated, we still welcome your feedback! Click here for the survey

We know this work is going to be ever evolving, just as our communities are, and we’re committed to growing along with you. We reviewed years of grant request data to understand how we might be most supportive of your work. We researched best practices in trust-based grantmaking and learned from other funders who are farther along in this process. We learned that trust-based models don’t mean zero accountability; they mean right-sizing application processes and collaborative accountability that support the priorities of the grantee and still steward dollars responsibly.

Being trust-based means being more than a grantor; it means being a partner in your work. We’ve learned, and now, we’re evolving. We hope you’ll keep sharing, we intend to keep learning, and together, we can strengthen the local nonprofit sector For Good. Forever.

What’s next?

We unveiled our evolved competitive grantmaking programs on May 30. We also announcing a new quarterly nonprofit networking & sharing opportunity. And, our Nonprofit Resource Center offerings will be updated based on the feedback provided.

A full report of focus group findings will be released later this summer, along with our enhanced Nonprofit Resource Center programs. In the meantime, click here to review our evolved competitive grant opportunities.