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Our Grantmaking

WGA Grants Decision Team

Since our first grants in 2002, WGA has awarded more than $7.7 million in grants to 68 local nonprofits that support women and girls in Northeast Florida. Like the world we live in, WGA has adapted its award strategy over its 20 years to address pressing issues for women and girls. It is Grants Committee member volunteers who support WGA's strategic philanthropy.

Our Grantmaking Process

Grants committee members see grants through from decision to evaluation and impact. Our grantmaking begins with careful decision-making. Our evaluation process places great emphasis on collaborating with nonprofit grantees during their grants.

We strive not only to be good stewards of our investment, but to also share learnings and fine-tune projects as we go. We are continually scanning the horizon and conducting research to make sure we are focusing on the highest impact areas for women and girls in Northeast Florida.

Click here to see a list of our most recent grants.

WGA grants teams
 

Grants Commitee Teams

WGA's Grants Committee is made up of the following teams:

  • Grants Leadership Team (GLT)
  • Grants Decision Team (Core Team and Virtual Team)
  • Grants Evaluation Team
  • Grants Finance Team (GFT)

Grants Leadership Team (GLT)

WGA's Grants Leadership Team (GLT) spearheads the responsibility to be the fiduciary stewards of our members' contributions for the grants awarded and the efforts to research, listen, act, and partner with our nonprofit community.

    • The GLT plays a research role by staying abreast of how other giving circles grant funds, as well as what other leaders in philanthropy are considering and acting on when funding nonprofits.
    • On an annual basis, the GLT hosts the Annual Convening Session with all active and newly awarded WGA grantees. While the impetus is to encourage grantee networking and collaboration, the GLT utilizes this as an important "listening" opportunity, to hear directly from the grantees themselves on what they need.
    • Where appropriate, the GLT develops, based off the research and Convening Session, timely grant giving strategies and/or process improvements to ensure WGA grants are both relevant for the times and in tune with grant seeker capabilities.
    • The GLT works with three grants teams and serves on WGA leadership committees to ensure all WGA committees are aware of what and where of the grants processes.

Grants Decision Team

The Grants Decision Team is comprised of two teams, the Core Team and Virtual Team, whose members bring a wide variety of experiences and skills. Both teams share a joint training session at the outset of the grantmaking cycle; however, after training, team members may opt for an in-person or virtual path to participation.

Core Team

  • The Core Team members receive grant applications electronically and have approximately four weeks to review all applications, prepare questions, identify concerns, and respond to an online evaluation of each agency applicant. Core Team members then participate in an in-person review session which, with feedback from both the Virtual Team and the Grant Finance Team, leads to the identification of the "short list" of grant seekers.
  • Core Team members may participate in site visits to the remaining grant seekers, and prepare an update on their findings. The Core Team meets in person one last time to discuss site visit findings, and to determine a slate of finalists to be presented to WGA Leadership and to Membership for ratification.

Virtual Team

    • The Virtual Team members receive grant applications electronically and have approximately four weeks to review all applications, prepare questions, identify concerns, and respond to an online evaluation. While Virtual Team member responsibilities are complete with the submission of the online evaluation, members new to WGA, or to Northeast Florida, or to grantmaking find this role to be an excellent learning experience for the community, for WGA, and for grantmaking.
    • Core Team members may participate in site visits to the remaining grant seekers, and prepare an update on their findings. The Core Team meets in person one last time to discuss site visit findings, and to determine a slate of finalists to be presented to WGA Leadership and to Membership for ratification.

Throughout the process, Core and Virtual Team Members adhere to a strict code of confidentially and ethics regarding the applications and the decision process. View Grant Decision Timeline [PDF].

Grants Evaluation Team

  • The Evaluation Team becomes WGA's liaison to the grantee upon grant award. Historically, the Evaluation Team fulfilled this role at two key reporting checkpoints when assessing grant program progress, and to recommend WGA payment of the next funding installment. In addition, Evaluation Team members collected valuable success stories and information on what's working, and where WGA can help.
  • With WGA's 2022-2023 strategic shift to Core Mission Funding, the Evaluation Team has modified its role from liaison to partner by engaging in quarterly contact with grantees (not tied to reporting or funding) to Listen and Learn. The contact may be by email, Zoom, or in person, depending on the grantees' availability, but the requests will be similar: How are you doing? What is keeping you awake at night? What do you need to move forward? And how can WGA help?
  • For 2022-2023, the Evaluation Team will serve as WGA's boots on the ground, and advance requests for support from grantees to the appropriate WGA committee. In addition, feedback from the grantees will continue to serve as valuable research for other WGA initiatives.
  • Evaluation Team members sign up to follow a grantee for the life of the grant, building a familiarity and relationship with the grantee. View Evaluation Team Timeline [PDF].
  • Current grantees are encouraged to contact the Evaluation Team Co-Chairs should they have any questions.

Grants Finance Team (GFT)

    • The Grants Finance Team (GFT) plays a key role in its review of all applications and the accompanying financial data. The GFT supplies the Decision Team with an assessment of the grant seeker financial status (green, amber, red) as well as relaying any relevant, clarifying financial questions for the Decision Team's site visits.
    • With 2022-2023 Core Mission Funding strategy, the GFT will add support for the Evaluation Team's Listen and Learn initiative, by reviewing up to date grantee financial information to identify additional ways WGA may help.
    • GFT members all share a financial or operational background with particular emphasis being able to identify trends or red flags in nonprofit financial data; however, any working knowledge of financial statements and a willingness to learn nonprofit finance are credible credentials for this highly versatile team.

Join Us

Join the Grants Teams! Please contact either Linda Simmons or Jennifer Kowkabany with your questions and interest!

WGA Grantmaking Goals & Guiding Principles

Learn More

Here To Help

Joanne Cohen, J.D.

Joanne Cohen, J.D.
Vice President,
Philanthropic Services
The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

904.356.4483
JCohen@jaxcf.org

In Her Own Words

Trisha Meili

"The Evaluation Team is a great WGA committee. You get firsthand experience of the work of the agencies we fund."

– Trisha Meili, past Co-Chair, WGA Grants Evaluation Team

LaWanda Ravoira

“WGA was one of the first organizations to sit down and really listen to what was happening to girls involved in the juvenile justice system…and they took action. The programs we developed with the support of WGA have received national recognition and now are being replicated and expanded.”

– Lawanda Ravoira, President & CEO, Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center

Marion Tischler

“I don't know of any organization that I give to that includes its members in such a thorough evaluation of its grants. I know my money is well spent and that WGA really cares about insight and impact.”

– Marion Tischler, Member, WGA Grants Evaluation Team and WGA Legacy Member

Contact Information

245 Riverside Avenue, Suite 310
Jacksonville, FL 32202 Directions

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