At the begining of the new year, we wanted to give everyone a sense of our direction. 2009 is an odd-but-breathtaking combination of historic and unparalleled political possibilities and the worst financial crisis in most of our lifetimes. Needless to say, we’ll keep moving thoughtfully forward in the midst of uncertainty.
(Authors: Cedric – VoICE and BBCBI, Carmen – Green Access, Tiffany – Grantee Support)
Voting Integrity and Civic Engagement (VoICE): Formerly named Project 2008, our VoICE work will build on the tremendous energy of this past elections year. Because we have limited dollars to deal with a wide range of elections-related issues, we’re continuing to narrow our focus on several sub-areas. In 2009, we will:
- Look for opportunities to convene grantees and funders in meaningful ways in order to advance a sense of collaboration and movement.
- Concentrate on our particular interest in elections administration, enfranchisement (NVRA, automatic registration, etc.), and public campaign reform.
- Map out a strategy for possibly supporting journalism/media-related efforts.
Black Boys College Bound Initiative (BBCBI): We’ve had a low-key start of the initiative, which was launched nearly a year ago. In 2009 we will:
- Host a summer convening of organizations working with young black men on collegiate goals.
- Assess the possibilities of a second phase of BBCBI focusing on college-level recruitment and retention programs.
- Continue to work with a smaller cohort of grantees on basic college preparedness strategies.
Green Access: With a new administration entering office and a wide-range of actors engaging in Green debates, our Green Access granting area is looking forward to positioning ourselves, in partnership with our grantees, to be at the forefront of the exciting transformations ahead. In 2009, we will:
- Establish learning communities with our grantees in order to encourage collaboration, increased understanding, and movement building.
- Clearly define Green Jobs and push for a standard definition to make sure the labor and green components maintain integrity and benefit communities of color and low-income communities.
- Build alliances with our private-sector and investment partners in order to increase investment and explore the challenges of these relationships.
- Position our grantees to be leaders of national debates around climate change, green jobs, and healthy and sustainable lifestyles.
Photo from AFL-CIO blog 2008.
Grantee Support: The current financial crisis makes helping grantees with organizational development, problem solving, and crisis management a very important one. In 2009, we will:
- Develop a formal capacity building strategy to foster deeper communication with grantee organizations and to better help them meet critical needs.
- Work more closely with intermediaries, technical assistance providers, and other foundations that support capacity building work to make sure the Foundation best leverages its resources and provides information to grantees as efficiently as possible.
- Create more opportunities for grantee organizations to share experiences across all of our program areas.
Photo from Fieldstone Alliance.