Advocacy Grants

 

 

 

Deaconess Foundation has adopted the following definition of advocacy

In its broadest sense, the term advocacy refers to professionally-staffed activism around an issue. It seeks to influence policy through the building of public awareness and will and the publishing of research, in order to change laws or public policy (adapted from Forces for Good by Crutchfield & Grant). Simply put, advocacy is when nonprofit organizations promote a policy or idea and encourage others to adopt it. (National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy)


NOn-Profit Organization Advocacy Grants

The grant cycle closed Friday, April 1, 2016.    

In addition to informational sessions, Deaconess hosted an online Q&A live chat on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter @deaconessfound #DFGrants on Tuesday, March 8th (11:30-12:30). 

For more information, contact: Allie Chang Ray, allier@deaconess.org

Deaconess Foundation understands the need for professional activism around issues affecting child well-being in the region.  Through Nonprofit Organization Advocacy grants, Deaconess Foundation seeks the opportunity to collaborate with nonprofit agencies who advocate for the improvement of support systems and policies affecting children and youth in the region.

 

Eligibility Criteria

Deaconess Foundation will consider projects that advocate for an improved policy or community process which results in better outcomes for vulnerable/at-risk/low-income children. To be eligible:

  • An organization must have 501(c)(3) status or a non-profit fiscal agent
  • A project must advocate at the local, state, or regional level
  • Project must impact children and/or youth in the St. Louis region (St. Louis City, St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties in Missouri and St. Clair, Madison, and Monroe Counties in Illinois)

 

Selection Principles

The selection principles for advocacy grants are based on research outlined in the article Leveraging Limited Dollars by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. Highly competitive proposals will employ at least two of the following strategies.

  • Leadership by and mobilization of affected communities;
  • Participation in coalitions;
  • Application of a racial equity lens;
  • Legal advocacy; and/or
  • Electoral engagement as complementary strategy.

Youth organizing support

Involvement in organizing helps young people, most of whom are youth of color from low-income neighborhoods, develop deep connections to their community. It inspires them to take an active role in solving social problems, and builds their capacity and skills to lead movements for change now and in the future. (Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing)

Deaconess Foundation recognizes that making the health and well-being of all children a regional priority is unequivocally tied to the power of its residents to demand it. In 2014, the region's young adults took the lead in insisting upon policy change from civic leaders and elected officials. Deaconess seeks the opportunity to support our youth in the movement towards positive change for the region. Youth Organizing grants will support organizations engaged in training youth in community organizing philosophies and techniques.

 

Eligibility Criteria

Deaconess Foundation will consider applications from those who:

  • Train youth and/or young adults in the method of community organizing;
  • Represent grassroots, parent or student-led organizations, or affected communities;
  • Have a 501(c)(3) status or use a nonprofit fiscal agent;
  • Amplify the voices of affected youth and/or young adults communities in the St. Louis region (St. Louis City, St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties in Missouri and St. Clair, Madison, and Monroe Counties in Illinois)

 

Selection Principles

Learnings from Direct Action Organizing by the Bread and Roses Community Fund; and Building Transformative Youth Leadership by the Funders Collaborative for Youth Organizing are resources guiding youth voice selection principles.  Engagements must: 

  • Organize affected youth and/or young adults to take collective action on their own behalf;
  • Train youth and/or young adults in the methods of community organizing;
  • Teach youth and/or young adults to analyze community and systems level issues; and
  • Lead to a direct action in effort to solve an issue affecting youth and/or young adults.

 

Community Capacity Building Program

2016 Request for Proposals

 

Deaconess Vision

Deaconess Foundation envisions a community that values the health and well-being of all children and gives priority attention to the most vulnerable.

 

Deaconess Mission

In the spirit of our faith heritage, the mission of Deaconess Foundation is the improved health of the Metropolitan St. Louis community and its people.

 

Community Capacity Building

 

Community Capacity Building is Deaconess Foundation’s effort to strengthen the region’s capability to achieve better outcomes for children and youth through collaborative engagement and investment with diverse partners to improve systems and sustain actions that have long-term impact on the health and well-being of children. It includes a series of strategic philanthropic actions intended to make child well-being a civic priority for the St. Louis region. Through the program, Deaconess seeks to:

  • Focus mission-related monetary distributions on efforts with potential for systems-level impact;

  • Mobilize diverse constituencies through community engagement and organizing;

  • Expand knowledge by resourcing and informing translation of research into public policy; and,

  • Leverage our relationship with the faith community and capacity building expertise to increase advocacy.

     

Many organizations work to improve the educational, social, emotional, and physical well-being of our youth. Deaconess Foundation’s aim is to help increase our collective capacity to serve.

 

Community capacity building funding in 2015 is available in three separate streams. These opportunities include: 1) advocacy grants to nonprofits working to change policies for the betterment of children and youth; 2) grants aimed at strengthening the capacity of collective impact networks; and 3) support for youth as they organize to dismantle systemic inequalities in the region. A detailed explanation of each approach, including eligibility requirements and selection principles follows.


 

1. Nonprofit Organization Advocacy Grants

 

Deaconess Foundation has adopted the following definition of advocacy:

 

In its broadest sense, the term advocacy refers to professionally-staffed activism around an issue.  It seeks to influence policy through the building of public awareness and will and the publishing of research, in order to change laws or public policy (adapted from Forces for Good by Crutchfield & Grant).  Simply put, advocacy is when nonprofit organizations promote a policy or idea and encourage others to adopt it. (National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy)

 

Deaconess Foundation understands the need for professional activism around issues affecting child well-being in the region.  Through Nonprofit Organization Advocacy grants, Deaconess Foundation seeks the opportunity to collaborate with nonprofit agencies who advocate for the improvement of support systems and policies affecting children and youth in the region. 

 

Eligibility Criteria.  Deaconess Foundation will consider projects that advocate for an improved policy or community process which results in better outcomes for vulnerable/at-risk/low-income children. To be eligible:

 

  • An organization must have 501(c)(3) status or a nonprofit fiscal agent

  • A project must advocate at the local, state, or regional level

  • Project must impact children and/or youth in the St. Louis region (St. Louis City, St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties in Missouri and St. Clair, Madison, and Monroe Counties in Illinois)

 

Selection Principles.  The selection principles for advocacy grants are based on research outlined in the article Leveraging Limited Dollars by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.  Highly competitive proposals will employ at least two of the following strategies.

 

  • Leadership by and mobilization of affected communities;

  • Participation in coalitions;

  • Application of a racial equity lens;

  • Legal advocacy; and/or

  • Electoral engagement as complementary strategy.


 

2) Collective Impact Network Capacity Grants

 

Deaconess Foundation has adopted the following definition of collective impact:

Collective impact is the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem. Collective impact differs from other collaborative associations, because it involves a centralized infrastructure, a dedicated staff, and structured processes. (Collective Impact by Kania and Kramer)

 

Deaconess Foundation believes in a collaborative approach to strengthening child well-being in the region.  Partners from multiple sectors can bring their varying skill sets to use when crafting innovative solutions to problems affecting children.  Through Collective Impact Network Capacity grants, Deaconess will support networks aimed at enhancing the welfare of the region’s youth.

 

Eligibility Criteria.  Deaconess Foundation will consider funding to build the capacity of collective impact networks focused on improving outcomes for children and youth.  To be eligible, the network must: 

  • Focus on a long-term, intractable challenge for children and/or youth;

  • Illustrate multi-sector participation;

  • Use a 501(c)(3) organization as a fiscal agent; and

  • Impact children and/or youth in the St. Louis region (St. Louis City, St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties in Missouri and St. Clair, Madison, and Monroe Counties in Illinois).

 

Selection Principles.  The selection principles of collective impact network grantees are based upon demonstration of the five conditions outlined in the article Collective Impact from the Stanford Social Innovative Review, which are:

  • A common agenda;

  • Shared measurement systems;

  • Continuous communication;

  • Mutually reinforcing activities; and

  • Independent backbone support.

 

Highly competitive applications will also demonstrate tangible impact on public policy or service provision.


 

3) Youth Organizing Support

Involvement in organizing helps young people, most of whom are youth of color from low-income neighborhoods, develop deep connections to their community.  It inspires them to take an active role in solving social problems, and builds their capacity and skills to lead movements for change now and in the future. (Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing)

 

Deaconess Foundation recognizes that making the health and well-being of all children a regional priority is unequivocally tied to the power of its residents to demand it. In 2014, the region’s young adults have taken the lead in insisting upon policy change from civic leaders and elected officials. Deaconess seeks the opportunity to support our youth in the movement towards positive change for the region. Youth Organizing grants will support organizations engaged in training youth in community organizing philosophies and techniques.   

 

Eligibility Criteria.    Deaconess Foundation will consider applications from those who:

 

  • Train youth and/or young adults in the methods of community organizing;

  • Represent grassroots, parent or student-led organizations, or affected communities;

  • Have a 501(c)(3) status or use a nonprofit fiscal agent;

  • Amplify the voices of affected youth and/or young adults in the St. Louis region (St. Louis City, St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties in Missouri and St. Clair, Madison, and Monroe Counties in Illinois)

 

Selection Principles.  Learnings from Direct Action Organizing by the Bread and Roses Community Fund; and Building Transformative Youth Leadership by the Funders Collaborative for Youth Organizing are resources guiding youth voice selection principles.  Engagements must:

 

  • Organize affected youth and/or young adults to take collective action on their own behalf;

  • Train youth and/or young adults in the methods of community organizing;

  • Teach youth and/or young adults to analyze community and systems level issues; and

  • Lead to a direct action in effort to solve an issue affecting youth and/or young adults.