Anyone who works in philanthropy would agree that one of the best parts of the job is to call grant partners and let them know that their application for funding was successful. In the last couple of weeks, the Fay Fuller Foundation has committed to almost $3m in new funding agreements and half of this funding is going to new organisations we have not previously had a relationship with. It has been a fun couple of weeks!
The Board and staff of the Foundation are stewards of Fay’s generosity, but we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that this Foundation is here to benefit non-profit organisations improving health outcomes for South Australian’s. The funding that we distribute is your funding and we’ve worked hard to understand the best way to work with you so we both achieve a successful funding relationship.
In our most recent grant round, which was also our first public grant round, we did the following:
- Held a group workshop prior with our existing grant partners to get their feedback and thoughts on what our grant program could look like and how it could operate
- Held an open information session for potential applicants to hear directly from us what we were envisaging and offer the opportunity to ask questions
- Ran a two-step process with the first step being an Expression of Interest (EOI) that asked only six questions. We did not ask any questions about budget or timeline, we just wanted to get to the crux of the matter that required funding
- Met with almost 40% of applicants to discuss their EOI face-to-face, to really understand what they were trying to achieve and learn more about them in general
- Asked a small number to provide us with more information by way of a written application
- Held a ‘roadshow’ where the Foundation Board visited each organisation at their offices, met the staff and had the opportunity to ask questions and be questioned
- Made sure that decisions were made in a timely manner – EOI’s closed on 5 October 2016 and for those who went through the entire process and were ultimately successful payments were made in February 2017
We’re working hard to make our processes not only transparent, but also relevant to those who wish to partner with us. While we have a role in administering the Foundation in a way that complies with government regulations and Fay’s wishes, we also genuinely want to do so in a way that is useful to the organisations we ultimately seek to support. Anyone who wants to provide feedback to or engage with us on this is very welcome to.
So who did we fund? Watch this space as announcements will be made over the coming weeks on some very exciting work seeking to improve health outcomes for people in South Australia!