Foundation Invests Almost $2.7 Million In Grants

February 23, 2019 | 1 Comment

Tom ConyersPhilanthropic organisation Bank of Bermuda Foundation has announced its investment of close to 2.7 million dollars in Bermuda’s third sector

A spokesperson said, “Grants were awarded for the very first time under the Foundation’s new Theory of Change and Vision for Bermuda that ‘All people in Bermuda are healthy, independent, financially secure and connected to community, with equitable opportunities for all’. The organization approved applications from 60 local non-profits in 2018.

“While the Foundation is extremely pleased with the way its Theory of Change has helped sharpen thinking around its grant decision making, having completed its first annual grant cycle under the new system, it will now review what it has achieved and what is needed to improve its grant-giving process going forward. This review will include input from both internal and external stakeholders.”

“Tom Conyers, Chairman [pictured] added, ‘We asked a lot of our non-profit partners this year. The new application was very detailed and required substantial critical thought to complete effectively. We also asked them to supply both interim and year-end reports on their work.

“We appreciate the work they do and we particularly appreciate their efforts to assist us in sensibly evaluating the impact of their work. We asked a lot of ourselves as well, along with those community members who assist in the review of applications and recommend which grants to make and for what amount.

“Our review process requires substantially more formal rigour than in the past and, hence, more time. In addition, using our new IT based application and review system was not without its challenges. We appreciate everyone’s patience as these challenges were addressed.”

“Non-profits applying for Foundation funding in 2018 had to apply online, under a brand new application process, aligning with one or more of four new funding areas, or spheres of influence, which include Economic Participation, Education, Healthy Families and Connected Communities.

Applicants also had to provide data on the impact and outcomes of their work. To ensure commonly understood expectations for outcomes in the community the Foundation works collaboratively with community partners to develop shared monitoring and measurement tools.

A new funding category was added during the year, ‘Capacity Building’. Tom Conyers, Chairman, explains, “The Foundation found there were a number of organisations providing critical support to our non-profit community, whom we had supported in the past, and whom continued to need our support, but did not fit directly into one of our four funding areas under our new Theory of Change. ‘

“During the year it became clear that their work was foundational to the work that non-profits do; we felt we needed to continue to support them as they help build capacity in the third sector. During the year, as noted below, we contributed $89,500 to non-profits performing this work.

BOBF Board 2018

Having completed four quarters of application reviews for grants in 2018, the amounts invested in the Foundation’s five funding areas were:

  • Healthy families – $ 965,625
  • Education – $1,109,000
  • Connected communities – $ 436,500
  • Economic participation – $ 10,000
  • Capacity building – $ 89,500

A spokesperson noted, “The Foundation was not surprised to have received very few applications under the ‘Economic Participation’ funding area. When deciding to make this one of its four priorities, the Foundation was aware that there were very few non-profit entities working directly in this area. However, a number of applications are now in the pipeline, and one of the Foundation’s priorities in 2019 is to actively engage with potential partners in this space and encourage the development of programmes that address this crucial area.

“Applicants are asked to please note that Tier Three grant requests, those over $25,000, will now be accepted for review three times a year instead of four. Deadlines for 2019 are now: January 31, May 31 and September 30, 2019.

“The remaining Tiers for grant requests continue as before with Tier One grant requests, up to and including $10,000, accepted year-round and Tier Two grant requests, from $10,001 to and including $25,000, accepted on the 15th day of each month.

“Letters of Intent [LOIs] are accepted by the Foundation for grant requests over $25,000 from NEW grantees or for grant activity NOT currently funded by the Foundation. The LOI is a brief over-view of a project that will enable the Foundation to ascertain if it is within its mission and budget. The next deadline for LOIs is April 15, 2019.

“The Foundation encourages organisations applying for grants to consider their application in the context of its entire Theory of Change including the Statement of Social Context and our Values, as well as the more obvious four funding areas or spheres of influence.

“The Foundation’s Programme Consultant, Vivien Carter, is available to all non-profit organisations, either before or after applying for a grant, to improve their opportunity for success. Vivien guides an applicant through the process and criteria to improve an organisation’s opportunity for a successful application.

“Non-profits applying for funding are urged to contact Vivien to learn more on 704-2743 or by e-mail: vcarter@bankofbermudafoundation.bm

To read more about the Foundation’s Theory of Change, Focus Areas or view its Grant Making history to date, please visit its website.

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  1. Connected Community says:

    What wonderful news and thank you for your transparency.

    It is refreshing to see a local Foundation in Bermuda acting on behalf of our Bermuda community that invests so much – not to mention all the scholarships you give out every year.

    Unlike another local foundation The Bank of Bermuda Foundation don’t compete against local charities for funding, pay themselves handsomely and then hand it over to other charities while claiming they are much smarter than simple common sense.

    What is the impact on our charity sector in our current economic environment? We are faced with increased need with fewer people working and decreased funding – time to consolidate while serving.

    Many of our local charities are quietly shedding staff and positions and not yet consolidating to maximize service to our less fortunate- soon.

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