Of all the great things I could share about the Gifford Foundation's work in Syracuse, it's "What If" that's on my mind. Gifford introduced their "What If" mini-grant program earlier this year after working very deeply in two Syracuse neighborhoods for over six years. Resident-led groups from all Syracuse neighborhoods can tap into What if mini-grants of $5,000 or less.
Here's what I love about The Gifford Foundation's What If mini-grant program:
- Rolling application deadlines, a simple application, and a solid pre-application workshop, all contributing to a program that is more about inviting community groups in than using the grant application period to screen applicants out.
- A clear statement about who the Gifford Foundation had in mind for What If mini-grants - groups, associations, and neighbors with not one mention of non-profit organizations.
- Just as much clarity about the type of capacity building projects that What If mini-grants are designed to fund, with almost no funder jargon sprinkled in. Check out what they have to say and you'll see what I mean.
- The link that has already been established, even in the first year of the mini-grant program, with the Community Foundation for Central York's Leadership Classroom to connect some big thinking What If grantees with additional capacity building opportunities.
- The What If Film Series - a fun way to use documentaries that share stories of people coming to together to make a difference in their communities to spark ideas and inspire action.
- And of course I love this.....that the networking that Sheena did with Grassroots Grantmakers planted the seed and provided the fertilizer for the What If mini-grant program.