BUILDING COMMUNITY

Goals + Outcomes

Photo caption: During a Leadership Development + Learning Collaborative cohort convening, a Meyer grantee scribes their thoughts to the prompt "What motivates you to do this work?"

The Building Community portfolio supports organizations and collaboratives that:

  • demonstrate experience with and/or a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their programs, services, operations and leadership;
  • listen to and remain accountable to the communities they serve; and
  • can articulate how their work fits within broader efforts to address systems that perpetuate economic, political and other disparities.
     

Goal 1: Community connection and belonging

Meaningful connections within and between communities can be achieved with a base of trust and understanding. By advancing DEI, working across differences and building a greater sense of belonging, we increase opportunities to develop a shared sense of responsibility and voice for our common good.

In some cases, this may mean identifying and removing barriers that keep people who have been historically marginalized from being heard or served. In other cases it might mean providing communities time and space for healing or creating connections through artistic or cultural expression, building appreciation for the differences that enrich our communities.

Intended outcomes

  • Changed Conditions: Improved well-being for historically and currently marginalized populations
  • Community Connection: Strengthened connections of individuals and communities to each other and their own stories or histories, and increased collective responsibility for advancing the common good
  • Raised Voices: Amplification of underrepresented voices in order to shift and broaden perspectives and influence
     

Examples of what we might fund

  • Programs that seek to eliminate barriers to economic, political or service access for priority populations
  • Initiatives that bring communities together by bridging divides and promoting healing and understanding
  • Organizations that highlight the strengths and contributions of diverse communities, elevate underrepresented voices, and change the narrative through arts and culture, storytelling, journalism, performance, or other forms of collective and self expression
     

These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes.

Goal 2: Strong nonprofit leaders and organizations

Nonprofits, their leaders and their networks play a crucial role in all parts of our state. They address our most pressing needs, provide opportunities for community involvement and civic engagement, and contribute significantly to the workforce and economy. Through a range of investments, we seek to strengthen the health of organizations and collaboratives that are committed to advancing DEI.

Meyer also aims to create an infrastructure of support for the sector by investing in nonprofit technical assistance providers and leadership development.

Intended outcomes

  • Organizational Capacity: Strengthened long-term health and capacity of organizations, intermediaries and collaborations that advance equitable outcomes
  • Operationalized Equity: Sustained focus on and analysis of equity that is integrated into organizational policies, procedures and leadership
  • Organizational Accountability: Improved mechanisms that strengthen accountability of organizations and their leaders to their communities
  • Networked Sector: Expanded use of effective practices and innovative strategies to support collaborative efforts and maintain networks that promote equity
     

Examples of what we might fund

  • Initiatives that help gather input from and encourage accountability to communities (e.g. focus groups, advisory boards)
  • Organizations seeking to implement their equity plans
  • Programs that create opportunities for organizations and leaders to learn and develop shared strategies to advance equity and support systems-level change
  • Delivery of programs and services that result in healthier and more equitable nonprofit governance, staffing, policies and procedures, and finances


These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes.

Goal 3: Civic engagement and systems change

By strengthening civic engagement and public participation in democratic processes, we can shift power and change inequitable policies, institutions and structures that deeply affect our most vulnerable communities. When people are able to see themselves as part of the solution, they work toward the common good and a community that's rooted in equity and justice.

Intended outcomes

  • Policy and Systems Change: Increased equitable opportunities and reduced disparities through changes in public policy, systems and institutional practices
  • Collective Action: Increased joint efforts by organizations to leverage the collective voices of their constituents in service of creating stronger communities and movements
  • Community Influence: Increased engagement and support of diverse community leaders who advance justice and challenge existing systems
  • Innovation: Identification and expanded use of innovative strategies that strengthen civic engagement and democratic participation, and explore effective ways of closing disparities
     

Examples of what we might fund

  • Programs that plan, develop, implement and advocate for policies that seek to eliminate disparities and advance equity
  • Pilot projects seeking to change institutional systems that create or perpetuate disadvantages for some communities over others
  • Approaches that utilize community organizing, civic participation, and/or collective action as catalysts for systemic change
  • Initiatives that seek to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities in policy and political arenas


These are only examples to illustrate the types of projects we might fund. We invite other ideas that would further our goals and intended outcomes