setting ideas in motion

Funding Considerations

Woods Charitable Fund uses the following Funding Considerations among others in its review of grant proposals and offers this information in an effort to be as open as possible about the foundation’s grant-making process.

Please be aware that the considerations listed below do not constitute a complete list. The Fund does not use them as a checklist or a scorecard and meeting all of the considerations will not necessarily result in a grant award.

Fund Purpose

Woods Charitable Fund seeks to strengthen the community by improving opportunities and life outcomes for all people in Lincoln, Nebraska. Woods supports members of the nonprofit sector who are exploring creative alternatives and promoting more just, effective approaches to meet community needs.

Relation of the Proposed Activities to the Purpose of the Fund

How do the proposed activities:

  • Strengthen communities or build on community strengths?
  • Identify and promote more just, effective and creative approaches?
  • Increase opportunities for people with fewer advantages?
  • Promote community participation in exploring policy options?
  • Seek long term solutions to community challenges and needs?

Additional Considerations

  • Diversity:
    How does the governance of the organization include and reflect the diversity of the community? How does the governance of the organization meaningfully include and reflect the diversity of the population which it seeks to serve? All applicants will be required to provide information on the diversity of its leadership and Board of Directors.
  • Relative importance:
    Given needs and priorities, how do the proposed activities address a significant community problem or issue?
  • Strategic:
    Beyond the importance of the issue being addressed, is there a solid plan or strategy in place for accomplishing it?
  • Impact and scale:
    How do the proposed activities hold promise to have a significant impact? How does the applicant articulate proposed outcomes? What is the applicant’s “vision of success?” Will the impact be broad based and long lasting or will it be narrow and short term?
  • Change, not charity:
    There is a distinction between charity (assisting people) and philanthropy (working toward positive social change). How do the proposed activities address bringing about positive change?
  • Grant impact on organization:
    In addition to the grant impact on the proposed project or issue area, what will be the impact on the organization? Will it help develop leadership or institutional capacity? Divert the organization from more appropriate activities?
  • Larger context:
    What is the context for the proposed activities? Is this a precedent or innovation? Have others done the same work or are others better qualified?
  • Potential for evaluation:
    How will the results or outcomes of the proposed activities be evaluated? Are those results or outcomes clear enough to be evaluated?
  • Collaboration:
    What possibilities for collaboration exist and how does the applicant propose to collaborate with others?
  • Community Building:
    How will this plan bridge differences rather than isolate people? How will it encourage grass roots participation?

This list of funding considerations is available in PDF format.