News & Event
November 17, 2016
At our Annual Community Meeting this past May, we asked the community to take part in a new activity that put them in the driver’s seat as grantmakers, while also giving them a chance to let us know how they thought our resources should be divided up between our priorities. This "Crowd-Granting" activity asked each participant to take an imaginary $100 and divide it up between AAACF’s four strategic priorities: Cultural Economic Development, our new Community Scholarship Program, Coordinated Funding, and Rewarding Success.
You could choose any way of distributing your dollars – you could throw it all in one of our priorities, divide it evenly between all four, do a 70-30 split between two and leave none for the rest…it was yours to decide. Once we had tallied everyone's responses, we shared with the community that we would actually be distributing $10,000 (generously donated by donor advised fundholders) across the four priorities according to how they had voted. The results were as follows:
We also promised an update on the efforts that these funds had helped support. We are happy to share the great work that has been enabled through the crowd-granting and want to extend profound thanks to our community for contributing their voice.
Cultural Economic Development – The $2,100 helped support a $5,000 “Participating Grantmaker” membership with DataArts, a powerful online management tool designed to strengthen arts and cultural organizations. DataArts gathers reliable, longitudinal data on the sector that can be accessed by funders to better understand the health of the sector as well as inform individual grant decision making.
Community Scholarship Program – A crucial element of our Community Scholarship Program that sets it apart from other, similar efforts is the inclusion of a Success Coach paired with each recipient in addition to the scholarship award. The coach helps students navigate all of the non-academic challenges of attending college, as well as connect with campus resources that can help them succeed. The $2,300 from the Annual Meeting will support this transformative approach to scholarships.
Coordinated Funding – Proceeds from the Crowd-Granting exercise went to support our capacity building efforts in partnership with ZingTrain and Nonprofit Enterprise at Work. This year we offered Program Operations grantees the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Deli, a leadership development and organizational capacity building program originally piloted in 2014.
Rewarding Success – In June, a new cohort of Rewarding Success grantees were announced to the public. These organizations demonstrated that they are operating on the highest levels of financial health, leadership and governance, and impactful programming – the “gold standard” of our local nonprofit sector. The $2,100 from the Crowd-Granting activity was evenly distributed across each of the grantees.