The Levy is using results and recommendations from two projects to help inform priorities, strategies, and processes for the next funding round in 2019-2020: a Community Engagement Process and a Grantmaking Process Improvement Project. Summaries of both plans are below.
Community Engagement Process
Every five years, the Levy conducts a community engagement process to inform funding priorities for the next Levy period. During Fall -Spring 2018-19, the Levy has been working with Empress Rules, who has used extensive focus groups, survey, interviews and questionnaires. to engage community members regarding types of services needed for children, youth, and families to thrive. Empress Rules sought perspectives from diverse stakeholders on the most effective and most needed services for children, especially children most affected by historical inequities in an effort to share the opportunity for community members from traditionally marginalized populations to have input in the decision-making process.
At the April 8th , 2019 Allocation Committe meeting, Empress Rules will present a report that identifies community solutions to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families.
Here is a summary of the Community Engagement plan, broken into three main phases: Outreach, Survey and Focus Groups, and Recommendations:
Grantmaking Process Improvement Project
Portland State University completed its grantmaking improvement study and presented its findings to the Allocation Committee in February 2019. The report, conducted throughout Fall -Winter 2018, offered several recommondations to improve the way the Levy conducts its grantmaking process, including increasing transparancy and/or equity praactice throughtout the process. The PSU team reviewed all phases of the Levy grantmaking process, evaluated Levy grantmaking materials and interviewed past applicants, local funders and AC members. After reviewing the PSU findings , the AC at its March 2019 meeting directed staff to further explore the recommondation to creat a Small Grants Fund to increase access to Levy funding for smaller organizations and support capacity building at these organizations. Staff will report back to the AC during the coming months on this proposal.