Nova Scotia Beckons

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

September’s Grant Program Meeting will focus on Foundation grants that serve Indigenous Peoples. Janine Pease, Bob Lorence and Rick Williams, our consultants in this area, will all attend. This is Bob’s last meeting and Rick and Janine’s first. There will also be a number of invited guests and we will receive reports on our major programs and what others are doing in this area.

The centerpiece of our meetings is a site visit to Dalhousie University, to review our grant that helps increase the number of Indigenous and Black Nova Scotian students in the Health Professions.  This site visit will do more than showcase Dalhousie University’s excellent work. It will demonstrate the context for the Health Professions Program and the community support for it.

In the wider context, the plight of Indigenous Peoples has become a central political issue in Canada and this will continue to present opportunities for Foundation grant making.  Two of our guests, Malia Villegas of the National Congress of American Indians and Carlana Lindeman of the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, are particularly knowledgeable of the landscape in the US and Canada.

September’s meetings will also entertain reports and at least one grant proposal in other areas of our grant making and, of course, the usual press of Board business. We will have a report on a project to collect and analyze information from our first 25 years of grant making. Tori and our intern, Katie Gentry, have worked hard all summer on this project going through old files and contacting grantees, past and present. The data collection has been completed and we have a preliminary report from our consultant. We will meet on August 18th to discuss the analysis of this information and how it can inform both our grant making and our grant making process. Communication continues to be a priority. We will report on social media and our ongoing efforts to write and publish about the Foundation and the work of its grantees.

We must begin our planning for a Board and staff retreat, in September of 2017. We are proposing Washington, DC as the site. By that time we will have a Grantee Perception Report from the Center of Effective Philanthropy, which should help us evaluate the results of our communication and social media strategies. This will have broader ramifications for how the Foundation does business. Should we stick to our knitting as social investors or venture further into the realm of communication and support (especially fund raising) for our grantees?

See you soon. Bring your sweaters!