In late 2011, the Community Foundation launched an initiative to gather input from Mercer County nonprofits. We enlisted an independent firm, AngelWorks Consulting, to conduct one-on-one interviews and focus group sessions with a randomly selected group of executive directors and board chairs from organizations that have received Greater Mercer Grants.
The final report of this investigation is now available. Download the full report HERE.
Area nonprofits identified governance and fund raising as particular challenges, as well as capacity-building work in general–and called upon the Community Foundation to step up as an advocate for the sector.
The report concludes:
- Grantees are currently functioning in a climate of limited and shrinking resources.
- Collaboration with other nonprofits is difficult, and help is needed to form productive partnerships and for development of fundable projects where complementary strengths are utilized.
- Grantees want multi-year and tapered funding for better financial planning and for improved program and service delivery.
- Grantees view the Community Foundation as a philanthropic leader and want the Community Foundation to expand its role beyond funding.
Since February, the Community Foundation’s Board and Grants Committee have met with the consultants to review the full results, and have taken seriously the call to leadership and to provide more capacity-building support. We are currently exploring ways to support our nonprofit colleagues in a variety of ways — as an advocate, partner, educator, organizer, and funder — through events, communications, dollars and hands-on assistance.