Children and Family Capacity-Building Initiative
As part of a comprehensive plan to wind down its operations by the end of 2014, the Freddie Mac Foundation selected the Meyer Foundation to administer the Children and Family Capacity-Building Initiative based on Meyer's 20-year track record as a funder of capacity building in the DC region.
The initiative offered the following types of funding and support:
Capacity-building grants to support organizations’ work with management consultants on projects to strengthen their leadership and sustainability. Through the initiative over 90 organizations took on projects such as:
- Organizational assessment, strategic planning, and business planning
- Board and staff development
- Fundraising, marketing, and communications planning and implementation—including technology upgrades related to those areas
- Improving financial management
- Feasibility assessments and implementation of mergers and strategic alliances
Grants for implementation of the Benevon fundraising model. Fourteen organizations received funding to work with Benevon, a Seattle-based firm, to develop more sustainable funding. These grants supported training and coaching for teams of board, staff, and volunteer leaders to build capacity to engage individual donors.
Organizational assessments. Seventeen organizations worked with CompassPoint, a leading management consulting organization, to receive an organizational assessment and follow-up coaching to identify their highest priority capacity-building needs.
The source of funding for the Freddie Mac Foundation was an irrevocable trust created in 2003; no corporate or taxpayer funds were used for this initiative.
The Meyer Foundation's Exponent Award was created in 2006 to recognize strong and effective nonprofit leaders with a track record of accomplishment who have the potential for future growth and development. The Award was designed for executives who may be in danger of burnout or who would benefit from a leadership development grant to take their skills and organization to a new level. Organizations of award recipients received a grant of $100,000 over two years to be used for leadership development.
The Exponent Awards have generated more than $3.5 million in new funding for the nonprofits headed by these award recipients, and allowed leaders to invest in their teams and restore themselves professionally and personally. In addition, the awards helped raise the visibility on the issue of nonprofit leadership burnout nationally. Regionally, the Exponent Awards created an opportunity for the Meyer Foundation to shine a light on entrepreneurial and well-run small and mid-size nonprofits that are doing important work.